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 Tulare County, California Genealogy Trails

As we have already stated, the first whites who after the trappers were attracted to what is now Tulare County, were those who sought to traffic with the Indians. But hard upon their heels came others, attracted hither by the luxuriant vegetation that grew all over the valley, but more especially along the deltas of the large streams. Along the Kaweah from where Wood's trading post stood to the mountains, was in those days an almost impenetrable swamp, and out of that swamp, at points a short distance from each other, issued the four main channels of the Kaweah, now known as St. John's, Mill creek, Packwood, and Outside creek; and from this fact the while Kaweah delta took the name of the " Four Creek" country, and was the first settled portion of what is now Tulare County. This entire region at the time was in Mariposa County.

The earliest settlements were made on King's river, at what is now Centerville, and which was at that time in Tulare County. It is said that the bona-fide settlers of Tulare County were easy going, quiet, respectable people, but adventurers were attracted here from time to time who were " tough," and they made society somewhat rough for a time; but they either killed each other off or left for new fields as civilization grew and made it uncomfortable for such characters. It has been claimed that there were about sixty white settlers in the county at the time of organization. This is disputed by some of the oldest residents now in the county. Very few if any of the first actual settlers are now living. Some, who settled in the " Four Creek" country as early as 1853,—a few of whom are yet living,— say they do not believe there was an actual white resident in the county when organized. Those who organized it did so to get the offices, and succeeded in electing themselves to places they sought, and the majority immediately returned to their homes in Mariposa County.

In the winter of 1852 the California Legislature provided for the organization of a new county, to be known as Tulare. The territory to be included within the boundaries of this county was almost precisely the same as that described as the Tulare valley, and adjacent water-sheds, with the addition of all the country to the east as far as the State line. Out of this has since been formed Inyo and a large portion of Fresno and Kern counties. In consequence of the Legislative act referred to, an expedition was fitted out at Mariposa, then an important mining point, and filled to overflowing with all kinds of adventurers, for the purpose of organizing the new county and " corraling" the offices. The expedition was headed by Major James D. Savage (whose tragical death has been described elsewhere in this volume), who as early as 1850 kept a trading post on Fresno river, and who was one of the four commissioners appointed to hold the first election in the new county. The other commissioners were: M. B. Lewis, John Boling and W. H. McMillen. There were in all the territory, previous to the arrival of this Mariposa expedition, not more than sixty-five men and no women; but as the expedition exceeded that number somewhat, and not all the settlers were on hand to vote, the visitors chose whom they would to fill the county offices. Polling places were opened on the 10th day of July, at Pool's Ferry on King's river, and also under an oak tree between the St. John's and the foothills. Fifty-eight votes were cast at Pool's Ferry, and fifty-one under the oak tree. Walter H. Harvey was elected County Judge; F. H. Sanford, County Attorney; L. D. F. Edwards, Clerk; William Dill, Sheriff; A. B.. Gordon, Recorder; Captain Joseph A. Tirey, Surveyor; A. B Davis, Assessor; J. C. Frankenberger, Treasurer; and W. H. McMillen, Coroner. Davis failed to qualify as assessor, and Thomas McCormick was appointed to fill the vacancy. J. C. Frankenberger resigned the office of treasurer, and P. A. Rain bolt was appointed in his stead.

Of the foregoing officers elected, Edwards was killed by Bob Collins in a row, the next day after the expedition returned to Mariposa. Harvey killed Savage, the leader of the expedition, and there is not now living in the county a single man who took part in that election. Charley Wingfield, who was elected treasurer in 1886, and who died a few months later, was the last. Harvey died miserably of remorse and fear many years ago. He did not remain long in the county. Savage seems to have had many good qualities, and well thought of at the time. He was the Government Indian agent, and was succeeded by Colonel Thomas Baker, for whom Bakersfield was named. A few of the early settlers are yet living in the county and near Visalia. Among the few are A. H. Murray, who came from Missouri and settled on the south side of Mill creek, near Visalia, in 1852, where he has since resided. Judge S. C. Brown, of Visalia, settled there in 1852. Dr. John Cutler came to the county about the same date; also Dick Chaton, Tom Willis, and a Hollander by the name of Stuefe. Wiley Watson was born in Georgia in 1812, came to California from Illinois and erected the first brick residence in Visalia, in the fall of 1860.

John A. Patterson and Jasper Harrell were among the early pioneers. The first actual settler in the county was William Campbell, who located on King's river. One Woods first located on the Kaweah river in 1850, about six miles from Visalia. He, with a number of others, attempted a settlement for the purpose of engaging in agricultural pursuits. He, with the majority of his party, were killed by the Indians before their buildings were all completed, a full account of which is given elsewhere. The location was designated Woodville, and was the first county seat.


The first case of a civil nature that came up for trial in the new county was before a justice of the peace, but was quite important, aside from its being the first. A young Indian had shot an arrow into a work ox belonging to a white man, crippling the animal severely. The whites were disposed, at first, to make an example of the young culprit without process of law, and punish him severely. Charley Wingfield and Jim Hale were sent to arrest the offender and bring him into court. They found the Indians little disposed to recognize the jurisdiction of the white man's court,—more particularly until they ascertained what the nature of the punishment was likely to be. Fearing trouble, the chief volunteered to go and bring the offender to Wingfield, and for that purpose Wingfield let him have his horse. Very soon the braves of the tribe began to gather around in squads of twos and threes, fully prepared for war; and, when at last the chief made his appearance with the prisoner, the whole crowd started for the settlement, the Indians sullen, the whites apprehensive. There were eighteen of the latter, and about forty of the former, and it looked to the whites as if they had " bitten off more than they could chew." But they could not back out without sacrificing their prestige with the Indians; so they assumed a bold attitude and saw it through. For two days and nights both sides maintained their position, neither disposed to yield anything. Finally the Indians consented to have the young offender tried-The trial was conducted in due form, and judgment rendered that the offender pay the owner of the ox fifty buckskins as damages. The Indians had watched the progress of the trial with profound interest, and the nature of the verdict was an agreeable surprise to them, as they knew of none other than physical punishment; and they ever after cherished considerable regard for the white man's law. Had a more severe punishment been attempted in this case, it is more than likely that the infant settlement would have been destroyed.


Until 1853 the affairs of the county were managed by what was called the " Court of Sessions," composed of the county judge and two justices of the peace. This court held its first session October 4,1852, and was composed of Judge Harvey, W. J. Campbell and Loomis St. John. About all they did was to fill vacancies in county offices, as previously stated.

The first general election was held on the first Tuesday in November, 1852, but no record of its result can be found. The first grand jury was impaneled about the middle of 1853; no thorough record of its proceedings are to be found. Later in the year one Samuel Logo was tried, convicted, and sent to the penitentiary for two years, for assaulting an Indian with an intent to kill. This was the county's first representative at San Quentin. The first tax levy, fifty cents on the one hundred dollars, was made this year, 1853, and on September 7th of the same year a second general election was held. By this time there were a good many actual settlers in the county, and this election was conducted by actual settlers, and not by invaders from other counties.

At this election John Cutler was elected County Judge; A. B. Gordon, Clerk; O. K. Smith, Sheriff; W. C. French, District Attorney; C. R. Wingfield, Treasurer; J. B. Hatch-Assessor; E. Lyons, Surveyor, and A. J. Lawrence, A. H. Fraser, John Pool, Harry Borroughs, and Warren Mathews, Supervisors. Of these Judge Cutler is the only one alive and residing in the county. One hundred and eleven votes were cast at this election, of which fifty seven were Whig, the remainder Democratic, and at this election Visalia was chosen as the county seat by a vote of forty-four to forty-one. Sixteen voters failed to signify their preference for county seat.

The Supreme Court of the State, having decided that the legislative functions of the " Court of Sessions " were unconstitutional, and as new officers had in consequence been elected under the new law providing for county government, the local government of the county had become thoroughly established at this time.

The spoils of office were by no means great at this period. At the close of 1853 taxes were collected, but they amounted to but few dollars, and when Treasurer Wingfield went to Benicia, the then State capital, to make settlement, he had some difficulty in making himself known in his official capacity. The State officers had actually forgotten that there was such a county in the State as Tulare.


Resuming the early historical period, it may be said that the county did not make a rapid growth in population for several years after it was organized, as the population of the State at the time consisted principally of roving gold hunters. It has been previously stated that at the fall election of 1853, the county seat was changed from the village of Woodville to that of Visalia, and that the first settlers about Visalia were in 1852. It is also claimed that all except two of the first county officers met tragic or violent deaths in personal rencounters. The first courthouse was a log cabin surrounded by a cheap fence, and the jail consisted of four stumps of trees. Within this enclosure, each stump had an iron ring attached to it by a staple, to which culprits were chained. The several county officials carried the county records and public documents in their hats and pockets.

There are various versions of the county seat question. The files of the Delta give Woodville as the first. Mr. Pillsbury, in his interesting little volume issued in 1888, says that at the fall election in 1853, Visalia won the county seat by a vote of forty-four, to forty-one for Woodville. In the same work, when describing Visalia, he says: " When the county was organized in 1852, an effort was made to have the county seat located at Woodville, and that in 1854 the county was surveyed and Visalia's town site was laid out." The old files of the Delta state that the town was laid out in 1856. Elliott's history of the county states that the election was held in 1854, at which the county seat was established at Visalia. Two facts are indisputable. First, that the county seat was for a time at Woodville; secondly, that there was an election, which established the county seat at Visalia, where the buildings were made ample for the transaction of public business at the time and for several years, until the growing population demanded more commodious quarters.



This year Visalia was laid out as a town, and derived its name from Nathaniel Vise, one of the first settlers. Visalia soon became a place of some importance, owing much to the overland stage line started about the time the town was laid out. The richer portions of the valley were covered with vast herds of stock, marking and marketing being about all the labor required, and fabulous prices were obtained. Consequently men accumulated great wealth with little effort. Hogs flourished here, as in no other region; nutritious grasses and immense crops of acorns were at their disposal. The swine business, under such conditions, was a mine of wealth of itself. In those days, it is said that all the capital a young man needed was a half dozen pigs of the feminine gender, and he might confidently expect to retire from business with a competency in a few years. The crop of acorns were so immense as to seemingly surpass the bounds of the probable. To repeat some of the many wonderful stories of acorns we would be accused of romancing, if not of downright falsehood; yet reliable old settlers assert that from 50 to 100 bushels of acorns from a tree was too common to be considered remarkable.

During this year the question of organizing a new county from a portion of Tulare and Los Angeles counties was agitated, to be known as Buena Vista County. This failed to materialize, but the continued agitation of county division resulted in the formation of Kern and Inyo counties in 1866.

During the year the Indians were committing depredations on the property and people in the Owen's river country.


July 2d, T. J. Goodale presented the editor of the Visalia Delta with some very fine apricots. The same issue of the paper speaks of having received by Wells-Fargo Express a batch of Eastern mail, which had been nearly one month in transit. This was about one month after the Delta was first issued, which was in June of that year.

Independence day of that year was celebrated in a patriotic manner. E. E. Calhoun was master of ceremonies. "Gem of the Ocean" was well rendered, Messrs. Barrows and Kline receiving special mention as fine singers. The Declaration of Independence was read by Hon. J. W. Freeman. S. C. Brown delivered a fine oration.

There were in the county that year the following post offices and postmasters : Visalia, H. A. Bostwick, postmaster; King's River, James Smith; Kinneysburg (White River), A. Reid; Keysville, J. Caldwell; Petersburg, A. D. Hight; Goodhue's Crossing, H. G. McLean.

The overland stage from San Francisco to St. Louis arrived at Visalia Sunday and Wednesday mornings; from Visalia to Los Angeles, via Kinneysburg, Petersburg and Keysville, arrived on the 8th and 23d of each month, and departed on the 1st and 15th. Three cents was the postage on a letter weighing half an ounce, from San Francisco to St. Louis, points in Arkansas and Texas ; all points east of that region required ten cents postage on half ounce letters.

The editor of the Delta in July of this year offered to wager a No. 1 watermelon that Tulare County could show more fat and furious babies than any other county in the State in proportion to population.

T. J. Goodale comes to the front again with fine fruit—-this time an apple of the Summer Queen variety; thirteen and one-half inches in circumference.

About the same time, a Mr. Mead, engaged in freighting, arrived in Visalia with a twelve mule team and three wagons. He started from Stockton with 21,000 pounds of freight for Visalia, and 7,000 of feed for his team, making a total of 28,000 pounds. This was considered the largest load drawn such distance in California up to that time. Mead offered to take one of his mules, and in two weeks' time, for a wager of $2,000, beat the winning horse at the race to come off in a few days, and that he would put up a forfeit of $1,000 with any one disposed to accept his proposition. No mention is made of his offer being taken.

There was organized in Visalia this year a temperance society known as the Dashaway Association; James D. Travis, President. This order flourished for a time.

The editor of the Delta mentions having received in Augusta delicious watermelon weighing eighty-seven pounds.

At the general election that year, T. M. Heston was elected to the Assembly; W. M. Boring, County Judge; John C. Reid, Sheriff; John S. McGahey, Clerk; E. Johnson, Treasurer; S. C. Brown, District Attorney; T. C. Hayes, Assessor; H. C. Townsend, Public Administrator; O. K. Smith, Superintendent of Schools. J. E. Scott, Surveyor; J. D. P. Thompson, Coroner; A. S. Worthly, J. T. Pemberton and E. Van Valkenburg, Supervisors. There were 908 votes cast at this election.

This year a gentleman in the county who had a large acreage of land under fence, which had a heavy growth of oak timber, sold the acorn crop for $1,800, to be gathered by the purchaser.

Mention is also made of the arrival of the stage with overland mail, being only eighteen days and twenty hours out of St. Louis, the quickest trip made up to that date. 1860.

January 21, the steamboat Visalia was completed, and designed to navigate the San Joaquin river between Stockton and Fresno city.

The Delta seems to have been dishing up Democratic food at this time, and in its columns March 31 we find it speaks as follows: " Friends of Seward and Greeley are talking of starting a black Republican paper in Visalia, and that there were some recent importations of office seekers in the county, silly enough to think they could be elected to the State Senate and other offices on the Republican ticket."

April, the same year, is the announcement : "Good news for bachelors. A short time since there arrived in this county, from Texas, a family composed of the father, mother, twenty-one daughters and one son!" During the same week, and from the same State, another family arrived, in which were fourteen unmarried daughters.

June 16,the paper states that "the half dozen Black Republicans in this county, aided and assisted by he bulkheaders and pork inspectors of San Francisco, and their agents in this county and senatorial district, are determined to have an organ in Visalia, and for that purpose have dispatched an agent to San Francisco to purchase the material necessary to carry out their schemes in the coming election; so they think." After a tirade of unpleasant epithets applied to Republicans in general, the editor bids them pitch in, that they will not get more than one vote to seventy-five for Democracy. He then mentions the " Lone Republican" of Fresno County; that he had gone to a more congenial clime; that his portrait could be seen in the hotel at Millerton, where Mr. McCray, at great expense, had placed it, that the passer-by might look at the " Lone Republican."

The Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph line was completed to Visalia June 18.

About this time, Judge Boring resigned the position of County Judge, and engaged in the mining business, and E. E. Calhoun was appointed to fill the vacancy.

This year, Henry Hartley produced 1,000 pounds of onions on eight square rods of ground, some of which weighed one and a half pounds.

In September a newspaper was started at Visalia, The Sun, which was intended to unite the Democratic factions, as well as gather to one fold the disgruntled of all parties.

Efforts were made during this year to organize a fire department in Visalia.

Dr. Mathews raised a single cluster of grapes weighing nine pounds.

In October, at a public meeting in Visalia, E. C. Winchell, candidate for the Assembly on the Democratic ticket, spoke on the issues of the day, and the Delta editor said "Dr. McCaffery appeared on the part of 'old Abe' and did his best to bolster up the cause of Republicanism."

In November culminated the difficulty which had for some time been pending between Wm. Gouverneur Morris and Editor Shannon, which resulted in the death of the latter. We quote the Delta's statement of the trouble at the time: "On Thursday evening Shannon entered the law office of W. P. Gill, where Morris was sitting. Shannon held in his hand a cocked pistol, and on entering raised it, at the same time saying, 'Morris, are you armed '? Morris at once sprang to his feet and grappled with his opponent. Shannon being much the taller, Morris was unable to disarm him, and Shannon beat him severely over the head with the pistol, inflicting nine severe scalp wounds. At the first or second blow Shannon's pistol was discharged accidentally. After receiving the blows, Morris fell to the floor covered with blood, whereupon Shannon gazed upon him several seconds, then turned and left the room. Morris, however, sprang to his feet and drawing his revolver rushed out of the south door of the building so as to intercept Shannon before reaching his office. The parties here exchanged shots ineffectually. Morris then left his position and proceeding to the north side of the building climbed upon the fence; Shannon meantime retaining his position. Morris took deliberate aim and fired the ball, striking Shannon in the abdomen. At this instant Shannon had raised his pistol, but lowered it without firing, and putting his hand on the wound turned and walked to his office, where he died in about an hour and eighteen minutes."

During this year the question of a new county was agitated, to be formed from Tulare and Los Angeles territory. The name to be Tejon, and Fort Tejon to be the county seat. It failed to materialize.

The first settlement in Tulare County was at Woodville, six miles east of Visalia, on the south bank of Kaweah River, where, in December, 1850, fourteen men, under guidance of one Mr. Woods (whence the village gets its name), attempted to found a settlement. But one of the five houses which they began to build was completed when Francisco, the chief of a large tribe of Kaweah Indians, warned the party that they must leave within ten days, which they agreed to do. See a full history of this elsewhere.

The wheat threshed in the county in 1860 amounted to 3,850,000 pounds.

In November W. G. Morris was arraigned for the killing of John Shannon. Morris was acquitted on the ground of justifiable homicide.

Shannon's administrator, G. W. Rogers, managed the Delta for a time, which was edited by L. O. Sterns. November 1 the total debt of the county was $33,262.46.

The Delta was purchased in December by L. A. Holmes, of the Mariposa Gazette.

The school census of the county this year shows 465 children of school age, which entitled the county to $548 of State school funds.

The families who were announced as having recently arrived in the county with such unusual numbers of daughters failed to fill the demand for wives.


The Delta in February says: "The business of marrying will come to an end about here soon, resources are failing, marriageable virgins all taken, only a few now in short clothes, and several juveniles near 50 years old are around prospecting for these."

In March it was stated that there were strong indications that the rising waters would inundate Visalia.

In April is the following: "Briggs, who has been appointed to the Visalia land office, is a black Republican, but is said to be otherwise a nice man. But the Delta was a strong Unionist. In the 30th of May issue is the following: " With the blessings of Almighty God we expect to call things by their right names and shall continue to denounce treason whether it comes from the North or the South, and shall speak of the John Browns and Jeff. Davises as they deserve, regardless of consequences. While our hair holds on and the stars of heaven shine in their accustomed places, we will recognize no flag but the stars and stripes of our country."

John G. Parker was appointed postmaster at Visalia this year.

Grasshoppers in legions invaded portions of the valley and destroyed all vegetation where they went.

A disposition is manifested among a portion of the Democratic party to oppose the war measures. They are known as Anti-Coercionists. The editor of the Delta in his paper of August 29th said that the Los Angeles News stated they had heard a story about an armed body of men camped in the neighborhood of Visalia, and that fifty of them had torn down an American flag. The Delta man said: "Our American flag still waves, Mr. News. One of them flutters from the Delta office; it hasn't come down—not muchly; the halyards won't let it. There was a party encamped here, bound for Texas, whether to join Jeff'. Davis or not we don't know. They behaved themselves like gentlemen and are "done gone away.'"

At the general election this year Thomas Baker was elected to the State Senate; Pemberton to the Assembly; S. W. Beckham, District Attorney; W. C. Owens, Sheriff; E. E. Calhoun, Clerk; L. L. Bequette, Recorder; J. C. Reid, Treasurer; R. B. Sagely, Assessor; M. G. Davenport, Public Administrator; B. W. Taylor, Superintendent of Schools; J. D. P. Thompson, Coroner; J. E. Scott, Surveyor.

This year splendid deer-skins, dressed, sold for $19 per dozen.

In October the newspaper Sun was discontinued, the proprietor joining with L. A. Holmes of the Delta.

During this year the Board of Supervisors appointed to fill vacancies—T. O. Ellis, Superintendent of Schools; S. Sweet, Coroner; and John Cutler, Public Administrator.

One Dan Showalter attempted with a company to reinforce the Confederates. He was arrested and treasonable papers found on him. Another party is mentioned passing through Visalia headed south; they were from Mariposa County. They were not so well equipped as were the Showalter party, owing to the fact that Southern sympathizers were getting a little frightened at, as well as disgusted with, Uncle Samuel's unceremonious method in confiscating the effects of the Showalter company. It is said that the prominent " seceshers" in Tulare County positively refused to contribute one dollar to the Mariposa column. Some small contributions are said to have been made consisting principally in poor whisky.


January 23 the editor says: "Owing to the flood, and being short of paper, we issue but a half sheet this week. During the flood a thief broke into the Delta office, supposedly to take a rifle usually kept there. A vigilant Newfoundland dog on watch objected to intruders at that hour and bit the would-be thief, who left near a pint of his blood on the floor. The dog was alone, but knew his business, and well did he perform his duty."

In January the water was so deep on the streets of Visalia that travel from house to house was by row-boats.

One Captain Powell headed a company from this region bound for Dixie about the first of the year.

The floods washed away large tracts of heavily timbered land along the streams in the county. Some of the trees, from their size, were estimated to be 200 years old.

April, Warren Wasen, writing of the Indian war on Owen's river, said: " Being unable on my arrival at Aurora to obtain provisions or transportation for the company organized there to receive the arms sent in my charge by Governor Nye, I was compelled to leave them and proceed, accompanied by Lieutenant Noble and his company of fifty mounted men. They arrived at the upper crossing of Owen's river on the evening of April 6, and the following morning met Colonel G. Evans with Lieutenants French and Oliver, Captain Winne of his command, having been left with seven men to garrison the stone fort forty miles below. These were under Colonel Mayfield from Visalia. The Indians, during the previous winter had been in the habit of killing cattle, which led to the killing of some Indians, and this caused the Indians to begin a retaliatory warfare. The whites finally collected their cattle about thirty miles above the lake, where they fortified themselves and dispatched messengers to Visalia and Carson for relief. They were reinforced by eighteen men from Aurora on March 28, when sixty men under Colonel Mayfield followed the Indian trail fifty miles up the valley to a creek opposite the upper crossing, where they encamped.

About noon on the 6th of April the Indians appeared in considerable force toward the mountains on the southwest. A detachment was left in charge of the camp, and the main force advanced in two columns against the Indians. The firing began as soon as they approached within range, at which time C. J. Pleasanton of Aurora was killed, and the columns fell back in confusion, and would no doubt have continued their flight had not some of their officers compelled them to make a stand in a ditch which bad been dug and used by the Indians for irrigating purposes. Here they kept up a desultory tiring with the Indians at long range until night, few shots taking effect. Sheriff Scott of Mono County received a ball in the head, killing him instantly. Mr. Morris, formerly of Visalia, was shot in the bowels and died the following day. The whites retreated that night, leaving behind some eighteen horses, considerable ammunition and provisions.

The following day they met Colonel Evans and his command, who persuaded some forty-five men to return with him in pursuit of the Indians; the remainder continued the retreat to the fort. Colonel Evans now took command of the entire expedition, and that night camped on the battle ground of the previous day, and the next morning buried the bodies of Scott and Pleasants. Scouts sent out reported the Indians miles above at the head of the valley. The command was soon on the move and about noon arrived at the mouth of the canon where the Indians were reported to be. Lieutenant Noble was ordered to advance with his command up the mountain to the right of the canon, while Colonel Evans with his force advanced on the left, and Colonel Mayfield to push forward between the two. They proceeded up the mountain three miles, facing a terrific snow storm, which prevented them seeing objects three yards in advance. Not finding the Indians, they returned to the valley and encamped on the creek. Soon after dark they discovered Indian fires in a canon one mile north of the one previously searched.

Next morning Sergeant Gillispie, of Lieutenant Noble's command, with nine men, was sent to reconnoiter the canon where the fires were seen; and after proceeding up the rocky canon 300yards they were fired upon. Sergeant Gillispie was instantly killed, and Corporal Harris wounded. They retreated, leaving Gillispie' body.

Lieutenant Noble was now instructed to take position on the mountain to the left of the canon. Colonel Evans was to have occupied the right. Colonel Mayfield and four men accompanied Lieutenant Noble, the rest of Mayfield's command remaining below7. Noble's command succeeded in gaining their position under a brisk fire on both sides from concealed Indians. Here Colonel Mayfield was killed. Lieutenant Noble, seeing it impossible to maintain his position, or proceed up the mountain without great loss, owing to its precipitous nature, or to return the fire from the concealed foe with effect, retreated in good order down to Colonel Evans' command, carrying with them Sergeant Gillispie's body. Colonel Evans then retreated with the entire command down the valley, followed by the Indians. The command camped that night twelve miles below at the place where Scott had been buried. Colonel Evans continued the retreat back to Los Angeles, and the Indians were for a time master of the situation, and were troublesome at times for several years; many battles of more or less magnitude were fought, lives were sacrificed, and considerable money expended by the citizens and Government, when finally the Indians were gathered up and placed on a reservation, and Owen's river people began to sow and reap in peace.

During this year an Indian on Kaweah creek died. Two medicine men of the tribe had pledged that he should recover. One of these made his escape; the other was attacked by the relatives of the deceased, armed with guns, pistols and bows and sent to the happy hunting-ground in short order.

This year a Mr. Jefferds grew a field of wheat estimated to yield sixty bushels to the acre.

In September Messrs. Hall and Garrison commenced the publication of a weekly paper called the Equal Rights Expositor, with the material which had been used for printing the Tulare Post. The latter had but a brief existence.

L. A. Holmes of the Delta died in Stockton, September 8,1862. Although he had long been an active newspaper man, ably and fearlessly advocating the cause of his country, he had no enemies.

This year a Mr. Bliss reports that in the spring he had eight stands of bees. They increased by swarming during the season to forty stands. He took from the hives that year 1,000 pounds of honey.

A military camp was established near Visalia, which was christened Camp Babbitt, in honor of Lieutenant-Colonel E. B. Babbitt, deputy quartermaster general of the department of the Pacific Troops were stationed here during the war,—• two companies of Second United States Cavalry. Colonel George S. Evans was the first to command the post.

There were 822 school children in the county this year, entitling the county to $739 of the State school fund.

Colonel Evans was transferred to Salt Lake and Major O'Neal placed in charge of Camp Babbitt.

There was raised in the county this year 150,000 bushels of wheat and 90,000 of barley.


One evening in March, the town of Visalia was aroused by the sound of crashing and smashing, which was soon ascertained to proceed from the building occupied by the printing office of the Equal Rights Expositor. A crowd at once rushed toward the spot, but did not get far, for on each street and alley intersecting the block were found sentinels with cocked pistols who informed them that " no citizens were allowed inside the lines, and the orders were enforced to the letter. In a short time the establishment was a total wreck; the type was thrown into the streets, and the cases, press, etc., smashed to pieces. Their work done, the rioters departed. On entering, Mr. Garrison, the junior partner, was found at work and a guard was placed over him, with the assurance that no harm was intended him. The immediate cause of the outbreak is said to have been the publication of an article on the " California Cossacks," which teemed with abuse;but the starting of it is attributed to the almost unintermitted publication for several months of such as the following: " We have said Abraham Lincoln has perjured himself and we have proved it. We now tell those who support this detestable war, to the extent of their support they participate with Lincoln in the crime of perjury." "Much has been said and written about the spirit of Americans, but that portion of them who sustain the administration are base cowards. They have hearts only of does and rabbits, not of men; they are an incumbrance and disgrace to any free country, and are constitutionally fitted only for serfs to some despot. They would cringe and lick the rod as often as it smote them." These insults had been keenly felt, and great patience and forbearance exercised ; but forbearance ceased to be a virtue and the office was destroyed. The good citizens irrespective of party rejoiced at the destruction of this vile press. The senior editor had used more vile epithets in regard to good citizens of the county, and persisted in publishing more seditious, treasonable matter than any other two papers of secession proclivities in the State; and it is but natural in times of war excitement that some men will excite deeds of violence.

On the Tule river Indian reservation there was grown, harvested and threshed, all by Indian labor, 600,000 pounds of wheat, 50,000 of barley, 10,000 of rye, 175 of seeds, and 300 pounds of peas.

During this year the soldiers from Camp Independence had a battle with the Indians on the east side of Owen's lake, killed several and took five prisoners. While crossing the river en route to camp the prisoners attempted to escape by plunging into the water; two were shot, and the other retaken. In October, William H. Grubbs was returning from Steinmore's about eleven o'clock at night, when he was attacked by a number of drunken Indians, who attempted to stop him, and take some liquor which he had.. Failing to escape by the speed of his horse, he used his knife freely, killing one Indian, mortally wounding another, was organized in and cutting a third badly.

December 9, the First Presbyterian Church Visalia by Rev. Edwards.

During this month high water prevailed in the streams throughout the county.

In August, Sergeant Charles C. Stroble, of Company I, Second Cavalry, was killed by a notorious Secessionist, James L. Wells. It appears that Wells and one Donahue had been quarreling, after which Wells remarked to George Kraft, " You'll see some fun in a few minutes," and passing into a store took a position close to a pillar supporting the front of the building. Donahue and Stroble came out of an adjoining building together, when Wells and Donahue renewed their angry conversation, Stroble taking no part in the quarrel. At this time Wells put his hand to his side, when Donahue drew his pistol and covered him. Wells raised both hands and said he had no arms,— only a pocket-knife. Donahue turned to walk away, when Wells sprang behind the pillar, drew his pistol and fired at Donahue, and then at Stroble. The shot fired at Stroble entered the right breast and passed out at the left side. In less than ten minutes he was dead. Meanwhile, Wells, from his sheltered position, was exchanging shots with Donahue, who stood in the open street. About this time other parties began firing at Donahue, and a soldier came to his assistance. The parties emptied their pistols at Wells without effect, owing to his protected position. Wells finally withdrew by way of the rear of the building, ran to a livery stable, where he procured a horse and was gone before a half dozen men in town knew that he had been engaged in the shooting. He succeeded in eluding his pursuers, and made his way to Mexico, where he was joined later by his family, and where it is said that he died a few years since.

The election in the county this year gave strong Union encouragement, and secession began to wane.

Total amount of taxable property in the county this year, $1,200,418; total tax levied, $29,919. There were 836 school children in the county, for which was received from the State school fund $484.88.


Visalia elected her first town officers in May, viz.: Trustees—-D.R.Douglas, Daniel Woods, Jr., J. H. Thomas, J. E. Denny and Nathan Baker; John Gill, Assessor; J. W. Kennedy, Marshal; and Horace Thomas, Treasurer. Tipton Lindsey was elected clerk for one year, and the salary for that official was fixed at $3 per day when employed, the assessor $5, the marshal same fees as are allowed constables, and for collections same percentage as is paid the sheriff. Treasurer to receive the same pay as the county treasurer for like service. At the fall election the Democratic ticket was successful, with one exception, that of Tipton Lindsey, who was elected Supervisor.

The first legal execution for crime in Tulare County was that of Jose Jesus Stanner, less than eighteen years of age. The crime was the killing of two men by the name of Williams, sheep grazers, and an Indian boy, knocking out their brains with an ax while they were asleep! He was executed early in December.

On the night of December 31, on the Kaweah meadows, the Indians killed Mrs. McGuire and her son about six years of age Mr. McGuire was immediately informed of the tragedy by a messenger, who found him at Fort Independence. A party of twenty men, under Captain Gran by, started at once for the scene, and succeeded in killing several Indians.


February, the newspapers have an article on the immense oil springs discovered along the eastern base of the Coast Range, from the Pacheco to Buena Vista lake. A Mr. Hamilton and party had made the discovery several months previous. This is the oil region since famous, and now covered by Kern County.

In March the Summer Mining Company at Kernville were doing a good business, running two mills, and averaging $1,000 per week.

Joseph H. Thomas, J. W. Freeman and McKinney & Co. erected quartz mills in the Clear Creek mining region.

Mining this year was profitable. Messrs. Livermore, Jewett & Co., put in 200 acres of cotton on Kern river.

Colonel Thomas Baker built a dam 160 feet long across the slough, severing the connection between Buena Vista and Tulare lakes, by which the waters were diverted for irrigating purposes.

The assassination of President Lincoln was denounced in strong terms by men of all parties in Visalia. Immediately on receipt of the news of the President's assassination a mass meeting assembled in the courthouse, which was addressed in a feeling and appropriate manner by S. C. Brown, Hon. Nathan Baker, A. J. At well, George Palmer, Father Dade and Dr. James Webb. A number of appropriate resolutions were passed, among which was: "That the history of the world does not furnish a parallel to this damnable deed of darkness, whereby the freely chosen head of a great, intelligent and Christianized people has fallen a sacrifice to the frenzied hatred of the adherents of a rebellion whose wickedness has fully culminated in the deed of infamy."

July 18, Colonel L. W. Ransom, of the Delta, started on a tour through the Eastern States.

The question of two new counties to be formed from Tulare was agitated this year.

There were in the county live stock of all kinds 95,685 head, valued at $1,212,381.

The population of the county in 1860 was 4,500; in 1865,6,500.


Early in March all the streams in the county got on a tear, and " there was much water there, doing considerable damage in Visalia as well as the country adjunct to the several streams.

Some time in this month a successful operation in tracheotomy was performed by Drs. Ben and George upon the child of Wm. T. Cole, of King's river, who had swallowed a grain of corn, which was extracted. The corn had sprouted, having been two weeks in the larynx. The child recovered.

In the same month Messrs. Kramel and Slocum killed in the foothills, near the Kaweah, a California lion, which weighed, after being well bled and lying out all night, 140 pounds, and measured from tip to tip nine feet four inches.

Charles W. Bowman became associated with the publication of the Delta in May. Also T. J. Brundage was appointed Superintendent of Schools, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of M. S. Merrill. Rev. Edwards presents the editor of the Delta peaches three inches in diameter, picked from trees in his garden.

At the September election J. C. Brown was chosen Assemblyman; W. F. Thomas, Sheriff; A. J. Atwell, District Attorney; T. J. Shackleford, Clerk; J. E. Scott, Treasurer; T. J. Hawkins, Assessor; J. M. Johnson, Surveyor; Joseph Lively, Coroner. The Delta man wailed over defeat as follows : " Ye that have tears prepare to shed them now; yes, and you that haven't tears get an onion and make some; for we are beaten,—not only beaten, but demoralized, destroyed, demolished, subjugated, squelched, wiped out, gone up the spout, gone to grass, pulverized, cleaned out, kerflummnxed, knocked into 'pi,' upset and totally annihilated. We acknowledge the corn, we own up, throw up the sponge, capitulate, cry peccavi, take him off, we feel bad, don't think we're well, and want to go home. ' But there's no use in crying over spilled milk;  we can't help ourselves, for the present, and there's no use making any fuss about it. We shan't make a war, as the Democrats would if they had been beaten; we don't want to hurt anybody that we know of in particular, and after the experience of the 4th we don't feel quite certain we could do it; in fact we don't feel quite certain about anything. Rather think we weren't at the election; don't know what Pinto means; don't think we are voters; are not quite certain whether we live in the United States or Dixie, but have a faint recollection that on the 4th something fell on us. What was it ?"

W. Owen exhibited some pears measuring 15 1.2 by 17 1/2 in circumference, and weighing 2 1/2 pounds.


In March there was shipped from Visalia at one time, by one man, two tons of honey and 1,000 dozen eggs. The month previous he shipped 10,000 dozen eggs.

The Board of Supervisors at a meeting this month granted Hugh Hamilton, W. S. Powell and others, the exclusive right to float saw-logs down the Kaweah river. This act was so ridiculous that it was treated as a huge joke.

During this year A. O. Thomas started a rapid transit stage line between San Francisco and Visalia. Three trips a week were made; time between the two points, 36 hours; and from Visalia to Havilah in one day. In May a severe hailstorm and waterspout visited the country along White river, which came near drowning the residents. The storm extended nearly to Poso creek, a distance of twenty miles. Many of the hailstones were as large as quail's eggs. In many places the trees were completely shorn of foliage. Visalia was incorporated in 1868. At the election held for city officials there were chosen for Trustees—E. Jacob, William Harlan, J. A. Samstag, J. A. Patterson and W. A. Russell; W. F. Thomas, Marshal; R. E. Hyde, Treasurer; O. H.Glasscock, Assessor.

This brings us down to the modern period of the country's development, which will be more fully reviewed.


Of the county in 1860 was 4,368. In 1870, it was as follows: Farmersville, 807, of which 755 were natives; King's River, 166, 148 of whom were natives; Packwood, 214, of when 172 were natives; Tule River, 1,098, of whom 953 were natives; Tule River Reservation, 124, natives, 2; Venice, 490, of whom 475 were natives; Visalia District, 1,626, of whom 1,377 were natives; Visalia town, 913, of whom 707 were natives; White River, 120, of whom 87 were natives. Total, 5,446, of whom 4,684 were natives. The census of 1880 gave a total population of 11,280, and in 1890, 24,574.

The Board of County Supervisors met in special session on Monday, April 10, 1876. for the purpose of receiving and adopting plans for building a new courthouse and jail. A. A. Bennett of San Francisco was awarded the prize, and his plan was adopted. There was $20,000 in county bonds, denomination $500 each, for such building purposes. Notice was published that on May 6, 1876, the old courthouse and jail would be offered for sale to the highest bidder. In accordance with said notice, on the day stated the courthouse was sold by Sheriff Wingfield to A. H. Glasscock for $682.50, and the jail to R. E. Hyde for $225. Among the several bidders to construct the new building were Stephen and Childers, whose bid being the lowest—$59,700—was accepted.

During the erection of the new buildings the county officials occupied a town hall.

The new courthouse corner-stone was laid and formally dedicated October 27, 1876. Various civic organizations participated in the ceremonies, which were conducted by the Most Worthy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons of the State of California, John Mills Browne, who was presented by the citizens of Visalia with a handsome and elegantly engraved silver trowel as a token of respect and appreciation of his highly honored position and services. A very interesting address was delivered by E. Jacobs. The following were the articles deposited in the corner stone: Roll of officers and members of Visalia Lodge, No. 128, F. & A. M., and a copy of their by-laws; proceedings of Grand Lodge of F. & A. M. of California; list of officers and copy of by-laws of Damascus Encampment, No. 44, I. O. O. F. ; list of officers and members of Four Creeks Lodge, No. 94, I. O. O. F.; Holy Bible, presented by I. N. Matlick; by-laws and members of Visalia Chapter, No. 44, R. A. M.; one trade dollar, one half dollar, one twenty-cent piece; constitution of the United States in manuscript by A. Beyer; copy of regulations of school laws and of school libraries, by W. A. Wash; copy of California revised school laws, by W. J. Ellis; announcement of Visalia Normal School, September 4, 1876, by McPhail & Orr; copy oi Tulare Weekly Times of October 28, 1876, containing a fine picture of the courthouse as it will appear when completed, and a description of the several rooms; copy of Visalia Weekly Delta of October 28, 1876; copy of Visalia Iron Age of October 25, 1876; copy of the great register of Tulare County for the Year 1876; poster and programme of the Centennial celebration on the 4th day of July, 1876, at Tulare City; one redwood knot from the largest redwood tree in Tulare County, 43 feet in diameter and 300 feet in height, by George Kraft; a piece of silver ore from the Emma mine of Tulare County, by George Kraft; he also deposited one ten dollar note of the late Confederate States of America; one Prussian silver dollar, by R. Broder and Leon Jacob; two vials of wheat grown in 1876, by E. Jacob, and one $20 gold coin by same, date 1873; also one five dollar gold note, First National San Francisco Gold Bank, 1870; one dollar currency note; one twenty-five cent United States currency; nine foreign coins, and San Francisco Journal of Commerce, October 26, all by E. Jacob; one trade dollar and a number of foreign coins by Dr. Davenport; copy of the Ulster County (New York) Gazette of 1800, January 9, containing an account of the death of Gen. George Washington, by P. H. Martin.

The courthouse is a handsome brick structure with granite sills and steps, is 60 x 95 feet, with two wings 12 x 31 feet. Basement story, 12 feet; main story, 15 feet; district court room, 22 x 22 feet; county court room, same size; and rooms in upper story, all 17x17 feet. The jail and some of the county offices are in the basement. In 1890 there was completed anew, handsome and substantial jail building, second to none in the State.

By the courthouse act, the Board of Supervisors were authorized to issue bonds of the county to an amount not to exceed $75,000; all bonds payable twenty years after issue, with interest at ten per cent, per annum, payable annually on the second Monday in January each year, both principal and interest to be payable in United States gold coin only; the bonds to be issued in denominations of $500 each and signed by the Board of Supervisors and the County Clerk; and the interest coupons to be attached and signed in like manner. The Supervisors had authority to issue such bonds, in such sums, and at such times as was necessary to meet demands as the courthouse structure progressed toward completion. Bonds could be redeemed at the pleasure of the county after ten years from date of each. Supervisors were also authorized to levy a tax annually for paying interest on bonds.


This is one feature of the county which we do not feel inclined to praise, and yet it serves an important purpose, no doubt. There is nothing beautiful about it, and yet it serves to hold the surplus waters at flood tide of the several streams flowing into it, and to cool somewhat the summer breezes as they sweep over its surface; is a home for myriads of fresh water fish; and makes an excellent resort for ducks and geese. The lake is now about eighteen miles square, and has a possible area of 324 square miles. It has a depth of perhaps forty feet in the deepest places, but in most places one can wade out for two miles or more from shore. A strip of tules two or three miles wide and ten feet high grows in the shallow water encircling the lake.


The main line of the Southern Pacific passes through the county from north to south. From Goshen on the main line, a branch road passes through the heart of the western portion of the county. On this line, sixteen miles from Goshen, another road branches out in a northwesterly direction, and connect with the Central Pacific railroad at Tracy, 140 miles away. A road running east from Goshen seven miles connects Visalia with the main line; another road of eleven miles connects Visalia with the main line at Tulare City. The two last named are controlled by Visalia capitalists. On the east side of the valley is a new line of road constructed by the Southern Pacific Company.

This road leaves the main line at Fresno, Fresno County, passes entirely through Tulare County from north to south, hugging closely the foothills, and connects with the main line again at Poso, Kern County. There are 177 miles of railroad in the county.

The first school taught in the county was in the winter of 1853-54, and was a select school taught by Rev. Kennedy, a Presbyterian minister, in Visalia, in a private house.

The first public school taught in the county was by a Mr. Carpenter, in the winter of 1854-'55.

An academy was founded by Rev. W. B. Taylor in Visalia in 1860, and flourished under his able management for four years, the number of students ranging from 100 to 175.

A change of management caused it to decline as rapidly as it had grown, and it soon ceased to be.

H. McLean and J. D. Travis were among the pioneer teachers during the first school decade, when there were but three school districts. The entire county was one district, which had been divided into three during the first ten years of public schools. The second decade increased the school districts from three to twenty-seven. The third decade increased the number to eighty three districts, with ninety-nine schools. In 1880 the total number of census children in the county between the ages of five and seventeen years was 3,447; number of schools, 75; number of teachers employed, 88; money appropriated for the year, $44,481.93. In 1883 there were 3,646 children in the county between the ages of five and seventeen years, and 1,671 under five years; number of school age attending school, 2,758; number of school age not attending, 742; number of school districts, 83; number of months taught teach year, 6 1/2; average daily attendance, 1,784; average monthly salary paid teachers, $69; amount of State funds received, $31,123; amount of county funds received, $14,657; amount of special funds received, $2,693; total expenses incurred, $53,814; and valuation of school property, $33,000.

In 1890 there were: school children, 6,270; number of schools, 120; number of teachers, 152; total money paid for school purposes, $114,742.40. The school census for 1891 gives the total number of children in the county of school age, 6,768; of whom there are boys, 3,391; and girls, 3,377. Of these there are three Indian boys and three girls in the Excelsior district, and two Chinese girls in Tulare city, and one Chinese boy in Visalia. Totals in 1890: Boys, 3,281; girls, 2,987; total boys and girls, 6,270. Increase for 1891: boys, 110; girls, 388; total of boys and girls, 498. No figures could be obtained as to the average salary paid teachers in 1890.

The following figures regarding the census of the Visalia school district will be found interesting: Number of white boys between five and seventeen years of age, 355; girls, 359; 16 Negroes and 1 Mongolian; total, 731. Number of white children under five years of age, 200; Indians, 3; total, 203. Number of white children between five and seventeen years of age who have attended public school at any time during the school year, 510; Negroes, 9; total, 519. Number of white children between five and seventeen years who have attended private schools, 2. Number of white children who have not attended school during school year, 199; Negroes, 10; Mongolians 1; total, 210.

Number of children in the county under five years of age, 2,730; number who have attended school during school year, 5,289; number who have not attended school, 1,479; number of foreign born children, 40; Mongolians, natives, 3; Indians, 10.

Advance school district has lapsed, and Rocky Hill district has been consolidated with the Yokohl school district.

There are few counties in the State that have made as great advancement in public education in the past year as Tulare County. Visalia has erected a new school building that would be a credit to any city in the State, at a cost of nearly $30,000. Lindsay school district has a new brick building just completed at a cost of $10,000, and Orosi district one that cost $6,000. There are eleven school buildings in the county that have cost a sum exceeding $6,000, several of these having cost $30,000. The pioneer schoolhouse ^in every district in the county is giving way to the modern structure, and the people are taking a special pride in their schools, as is shown not only by their schoolhouses but by the well selected libraries found in the schoolrooms.

Number of grammar schools in the county, 60. Number of primary schools, 94.

Number of new districts organized, 4.

Number of trustees appointed by county superintendent, 65.

Number of schoolhouses built of brick, 5.

Number built of wood, 113.

Number of schoolhouses erected during the year, 6. Total number of schoolhouses in county, 118.

Number of male teachers, 58; female teachers, 96. Total number of teachers, 154.

Average monthly wages paid to male teachers, $85.60. Paid to female teachers, $72.39.

Number of teachers who are graduates of California State Normal school, 28.

Number of graduates of other State normal schools, 14.

Number of teachers who hold life diplomas, 48.

Number of teachers who hold State Educational diplomas, 35.

Number of teachers who hold high-school certificates, 9. Number who hold county certificates, first grade, 117. Second grade, 25.

Number of certificates granted to male teachers, 19. To female teachers, 43.

Number of certificates renewed, 18. Number of applicants rejected, 60.

Number of schools maintained less than six months, 1. Number maintaining schools six months or over and less than eight months, 54.

Number of districts maintaining schools eight months and over, 65.

Number of teachers who attend county institutes, 153.

Number of teachers who subscribe for educational journals, 135.

Salary of county superintendent, $1,800.

Number of schools visited, 128. Number not visited, 34.

Rate of school tax levied in 1890, 25 cents.

County assessment roll of taxable property for 1890, $21,740,817.

Number of private schools in county, 2, employing two teachers. Number of children attending private schools, 92.

Amount expended in construction of new schoolhouses during the year and purchasing sites, etc., $54,875.23.

Like most of the counties in the State, Tulare's records are imperfect in many respects as to the earlier events, elections, etc. We have gathered from all sources the officials to date as nearly as possible. The two first elections are given under the head of County Organization, and other election data will be found under head of Miscellaneous Items of Early Times.

The records show that in September, 1854? the Board of Supervisors were: Warren Mathews, A. H. Murray and Loomis St. John. Mathews was Chairman of the Board. John Cutler was County Judge. Records do not show result of elections from 1854 to 1857 inclusive.

Elected in September, 1858: Robert C. Redd, County Judge.

At the September election in 1859 William Boring was elected County Judge; S. C. Brown, District Attorney; John C. Reid, Sheriff; Ewen Johnson, Treasurer; H. C. Townsend, Public Administrator; J. D. P. Thompson, Coroner, and O. K. Smith, Superintendent of Schools.

At the meeting of the Board of Supervisors February 4, 1861, there were present: Robert K. Nichols and H. W. Niles.

Elected in September, 1861: James C. Pemberton, Assemblyman; Samuel W. Becker, District Attorney; William C. Owen, Sheriff; E. E. Calhoun, County Clerk; Louis Bequette, County Recorder; John C. Reid, County Treasurer; R. B. Sagely, County Assessor; M. G. Davenport, Public Administrator; B. W. Taylor, Superintendent of Schools; J. D. P Thompson, Coroner; J. E. Scott, County Surveyor; Pleasant Byrd, Supervisor of the Third District, and R. K. Nichols, Supervisor of the Second District.

Election in September, 1862: J. W. Freeman, Assemblyman; T. O. Ellis, Superintendent of Schools; H. A. Bostwick, Public Administrator; W. A. Russell, Coroner; A. M. Donnelson, Supervisor District No. 1.

At the general election in September, 1863: J. C. Brown, State Assemblyman; S. A. Sheppard, District Attorney; John M. Meadows, Sheriff; F. J. Shackelford, Recorder; J. T. Holmes, Clerk; E. H. Dumble, Assessor; T. T. Hathaway, Treasurer; J. E. Scott, Surveyor; W. A. Russell, Coroner, and M. S. Merrill, Superintendent of Schools.

J. W. Freeman was State Senator from the district of which Tulare County was a part. At this time politics was warm in the county, and it is said that H. N. Carroll, who ran against Baker for County Judge, and Meadows, who was pitted against Gill for Sheriff, were both really elected. Both were warm sympathizers with the South and had been free in expressing themselves, incurring the ill-will of the soldiery and more loyal citizens, and Meadows declined to qualify as sheriff, fearing violence, and John Gill, his opponent, was confirmed sheriff and filled the position. The courts decided in favor of Nathan Baker against Carroll, and Baker was made County Judge. A. J. Atwell was appointed, by the Board of Supervisors, County Superintendent of Schools, in December, 1863.

General election, 1865: J. W. Freeman, State Senator; J. C. Brown, State Assemblyman ; T. Reed, County Sheriff; S. A. Sheppard, District Attorney; T. J. Shackelford, Recorder; John G. Knox, Clerk; J. E, Scott, Treasurer; M. S. Merrill, Superintendent Schools; A. H. Glasscock, Assessor; Hamilton, Coroner; Joshua Lewis, Surveyor, and Jordan, Supervisor of District No. 1.

Elected in September, 1867: J. C. Brown, Assemblyman; W. F. Thomas, Sheriff; A. J. Atwell, District Attorney; T. J. Shackelford, County Clerk; J. E. Scott, County Treasurer; T. H. Hawkins, County Assessor; W.Williams, Superintendent of Schools; J. M. Johnson, Surveyor; Joseph Lively, Coroner, and W. F. Markham, Supervisor of District No. 2.

Elected in September, 1869: S. A. Sheppard, County Judge; R. C. Redd, District Attorney; W. F. Thomas, County Clerk, and A. H. Glasscock, County Sheriff.

Elected in September, 1871: A. C. Biadford, District Judge; S. A. Sheppard, County Judge; A. J. Atwell, District Attorney; A. H. Glasscock, Sheriff and Tax Collector; W. F. Thomas, County Clerk; Pleasant Byrd, Treasurer; F. G. Jefferds, Assessor; George Smith, Surveyor; S. G. Creighton, Superintendent of Schools; D. L. Pickett, Coroner and Public Administrator; and Board of Supervisors: James Barton, W. C. Owens, David Strong and C. R. Wingfield.

Elected in September, 1873: W. Canfleld, Assemblyman; C. R. Wingfield, Sheriff; J. E. Denny, County Clerk; John W. Crowley, County Treasurer; R. P. Merrill, County Superintendent of Schools; George W. Smith, County Surveyor; George S. Palmer, District Attorney; F. G. Jefferds, Assessor; R. P. Martin, Coroner, and W. C. Owen, Supervisor of District No. 3.

Elected in September, 1874: Alexander Dearing, District Judge; John Clark, County Judge; C. R. Wingfield, Sheriff; J. E. Denny, County Clerk; W. W. Cross, District Attorney; J. W. Crowley, Treasurer; F. G. Jefferd, Assessor; G. W. Smith, Surveyor; R. P. Merrill, Superintendent of Schools; and Board of Supervisors: James Barton, W. C. Owens, and F. H. Baker.

Elected in September, 1875: C. R. Wingfield, Sheriff; J. E. Denny, Recorder; J. W. Crowley, Treasurer; J. S. McGahey, Clerk; W. W. Cross, District Attorney; F. G. Jefferd, Assessor; T. J. Vivian, Surveyor; R. P. Merrill, Superintendent of Schools; J. M. Montgomery, Road Commissioner; W. A. Russell, Coroner; and Samuel Hunting, Supervisor of District No. 2.

General election in the fall of 1877: J. C. Campbell, Sheriff; John G. Knox, Clerk; E. J. Edwards, District Attorney; Philip Wagy, Treasurer; C. S. O'Bannon, Recorder; W. P. Kirkland, Auditor; Seth Smith, Surveyor; L. D. Murphy, Coroner; and J. H. Grimsley, Supervisor of District No. 1.

T. Osborn was elected Supervisor District No. 2, in 1878.

General election, 1879: W. W. Cross, Superior Judge; H. A. Keener, County Treasurer; John G. Knot, County Clerk; J. F. Gordan, County Auditor; M. J. Wells, County Sheriff; E. J. Edwards, District Attorney; C. S. O'Bannon, Recorder; F. G. Jefferd, Assessor; Seth Smith, Surveyor; W. J. Ellis, Superintendent of Schools; L. M. Lovelace, Coroner; and J. H. Shore, Supervisor of District No. 2.

General election, 1882: P. Reddy, State Senator; W. L. Martin,* State Assemblyman; W. C. Cough ran, County Treasurer; L. Gilroy, County Clerk; John F. Jordan, County Auditor; William F. Martin, County Sheriff; O. Sanders, District Attorney; J. E. Denny, Recorder; Seth Smith, Assessor; Thomas Creighton, Surveyor; C. H. Murphy, Superintendent of Schools; L. M. Lovelace, Coroner; and Board of Supervisors: S. M. Gilliam, W. H. Hammond, J. W. C. Pogue, C. Talbot and S. E. Biddle.

General election, 1884: E. De Witt, Assemblyman; W. W. Cross, Superior Judge; W. B. Wallace, District Attorney; L. Gilroy, County Clerk; A. Balaam, Sheriff and Tax Collector; W. F. Thomas, Recorder; W. W. Coughran, Treasurer; Ben. Parker, Auditor; Thomas Creighton, Surveyor; T. W. Pendergrass, Coroner; and Board of Supervisors: T. E. Henderson, M. Premo, J. W. C. Pogue, D. V. Robinson and G. E. Shore.

General election, 1886: Tipton Lindsey, State Senator; A. B. Butler, Assemblyman; C. G. Lamberson, District Attorney; George D. Parker, Sheriff; L. Gilroy, Clerk; W. F. Thomas, Recorder; Seth Smith, Assessor; C. R. Wingfield, Treasurer; C. H. Murphy, Superintendent of Schools; Dan G. Overall, Auditor; T. W. Pendergrass, Coroner; and J. S. Urton, Surveyor.

General election, 1888: John Roth, State Senator; G. Stockton Berry, Assemblyman; W. W. Cross, Superior Judge; John G. Knox, County Clerk; Duke S. Lipscomb, Treasurer; J. M. Johnston, Recorder; Dan G. Overall, Sheriff; W. R. Jacobs, District Attorney; Seth Smith, Assessor; C. H. Murphy, Superintendent of Schools; C. T. Buckman, Auditor; T.W. Pendergrass, Coroner; A. T. Fowler, Surveyor; and Board of Supervisors: D. V. Robinson, Thomas E. Henderson, James Barton, John H. Woody, and J. B. Newport.

General election, 1890: G. Stockton Berry, State Senator; W. S. Cunningham, Assemblyman; W. W. Cross, Superior Judge; E. W. Kay, Sheriff; John G. Knox, Clerk; D. F. Coffee, Assessor; Duke S. Lipscomb, Treasurer; M. E. Power, District Attorney; C. F. Buckman, Auditor; C. E. Evans, Recorder; T. W. Pendergrass, Coroner; Samuel A. Crookshank, Superintendent of Schools; A. T. Fowler, Surveyor; S. L. N. Ellis, Supervisor District No. 4, and J. H. Fox, Supervisor District No. 5.

A. Wheaton Gray was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court of the county in 1891, under an act of the Legislature allowing an additional judge for the county.


The southern portion of the county has been sorely afflicted in the past by train robbers. These bands have not been citizens of the county, but have made the rather isolated region from Goshen to Alila, seeming to give the highwaymen better opportunity to secure their plunder and escape to the mountains before any organized pursuit could be made.

The first train " held up " in the county was at Pixley, on the evening of February 22, 1889. The next successful effort was at or near Goshen, on the morning of January 21, 1890. In the first case two men were killed, and at Goshen a tramp was shot in the face and lost an eye. The last attempt to rob a train occurred on Friday evening, February 6, 1891, near Alila about 8 o'clock, in which George Radliff, a fireman, was shot; he died the following morning. Suspicion strongly pointed to the Dalton brothers, some of whom reside in San Luis Obispo County. Other brothers from Oklahoma were known to be at the time visiting these brothers. Sheriff E. W. Kay arrested William and Grattan Dalton, and circumstantial evidence was strong enough to justify the grand jury in finding a bill against them.

The sheriff then went to Oklahoma in search for the other two brothers (supposed accomplices), Robert and Emmett Dalton.

The officers did not succeed in capturing the outlaws. The two arrested were brought to trial, and Grattan Dalton was found guilty and sentenced to a term of years in the penitentiary. No proof being produced that William was a direct accomplice, he escaped the penalty of the law. This it is believed will put a final end to these robberies.


Conrad Alles, a young man seventeen years of age, is the hero of the day in the vicinity of Three Rivers. One morning in 1890 he took his rifle and thought that he would kill a deer for breakfast. He had gone about a mile from home when he noticed that his dog was acting queer and smelling along a track of some kind. Knowing from the dog's actions that it was not a deer, he hissed him onward, and in glancing around spied a large animal of some kind across the river from him. The dogs discovered it about the same time and away they went. They soon treed the animal and when Conrad came up to about fifty yards he saw the creature standing on the limb of a large oak. It proved to be a good-sized California lion. Undaunted by this discovery he took rest off of the side of a tree and shot. The beast tumbled out into a hollow place,where, to get sight of it, Conrad had to surmount a rock near where the lion fell. He did so, and as soon as the wounded lion saw him it made a spring for the lad. He shot unerringly, as the beast fell dead at his feet.

It was a courageous deed for a boy, for in order to get to the lion he had to crawl through thick brush for a long distance and had only a narrow opening to maneuver in after he got there. The lion measured six and one quarter feet from tip to tip.

Daniel Rhoades and wife arrived in 1846. Mr. Rhoades was one of the relief party of seven who first reached the ill-fated Donner party.

Mrs. Mary A. Clark, nee Graves, arrived in 1846. She was one of the seven first rescued members of the Donner party who arrived at Johnson's ranch.

George W. Williams arrived in 1846. He was a member of the " Bear Flag " party, and gave his red shirt to make the border of the original bear flag. C. Burrell arrived in 1846.

A. C. Neill, Green B. Catron, John A. Patterson, A. J. Lafever and wife, John Cutler, W. D. James, John B. Hockett and wife, C. Van Loan, Joshua Lewis, John A. Hart, R. L. Freeman, Samuel Fowler, A. Tyner, J. Richardson, R. C. Redd, Dr. F. A. Combs,Dr. D. Ray, J. T. Clark, T. Lindsey, W. B. Wallace and C. H. Smith arrived in 1849.

John B. Hamilton, L. B. Ruggles, Charles Rose, George W. Smith, J. B. Zumwalt and Daniel Wood arrived in 1850.

[Excerpts from the book Memorial and Biographical History of the Counties of  Fresno, Tulare and Kern California The Lewis Publishing Company 1892. Submitted by a Friend of Free Genealogy]

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