History of Fresno County, Vol. 6

History of Fresno County, Vol. 6 – Paul E. Vandor

The editor and publisher of these volumes, which include not less than several hundred biographies spread across the six books, presents them confidently as a verified and authoritative history of the county – the result of conscientious labor in original research , and of information imparted by pioneers and their descendants , entered upon originally as a pastime and without thought of publication of the collated material. It essays to present county and city historical data that had lasting bearing on the times, but which with many of the picturesque incidents were ignored or overlooked in the publications that have gone before; and lastly it is an endeavor also to fill in the hiatus of the years from 1882 through the first World War, to bring to date the tale of the development and growth of a county which, from a small beginning with a rough and uncouth mining population and hardy pioneers, has become one of the richest, politically best governed and industrially typical of a great state. Incredible as their development and growth have been, through successive industrial epochs, the mind cannot grasp the future of State and County, now that the twin Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys have reached the zenith of development and production. Today Fresno County is a leading contributor to California’s greater riches, enhanced production, and to the unmeasured happiness and prosperity of its citizens. Fresno is one of the state’s centers. A remarkable past will be eclipsed by a more wonderful future – it is manifest destiny. This is volume six out of six.

History of Fresno County, Vol. 6

History of Fresno County, Vol. 6.

Format: eBook.

History of Fresno County, Vol. 6.

ISBN: 9783849659035.


Excerpt from the text:



A young man who has undergone the experience of so many in sacrificing important interests in order to respond to the call of their country in the late war is Edward Johnson, the senior partner in the firm of Johnson Brothers, ranchers, who are renting the Lindquist estates. He was born near Grantsburg, Wis., August 14, 1886, the son of John A. and Betsy ( Erickson) Johnson, who were parents of eight children — six sons and two daughters. With the exception of two sons, who are living in Minnesota, the entire family is now in Fresno County, in the vicinity of Kingsburg. Edward, the third child, grew up in Wisconsin; he received a very limited schooling, he worked on his father’s farm, and while yet a youth, hired out by the month, after which he made for Minneapolis. There, until he was twenty-six, he was employed in the Pillsbury Flouring Mills.

In that year he removed to .Montana, and near Skelley homesteaded 160 acres, which he farmed and proved up and was just about to profit by, as a grain and stock farmer, when he was drafted into the American Army, and therefore compelled to sell his Montana interests. It was not easy to part with that which had been acquired through so much hard labor and risk, but the consciousness of duty and its obligation impelled him on and enabled him to come through like a man.

Mr. Johnson served at Camp Lewis for five months, and was then transferred to Vancouver, Wash., having served in the infantry at Camp Lewis and in the aviation in the North. He was honorably discharged on December 23, 1918, and reached his parents’ home December 25, 1918, at their ranch in the vicinity of Kingsburg, Fresno County.

At Oakland, on January 2, 1919, Mr. Johnson was married to Miss Nellie Rabe, of Portland, Ore.

The farming operations of the Johnson Brothers are carried by our subject and a younger brother, Alvin Johnson, who was also born in Wisconsin, who came out to California in 1918 direct from Wisconsin, where he had worked on a farm.

The ranches operated by the Johnson Brothers are the forty acres of Mrs. Lindquist, the ten acres of Alfred Lindquist, adjoining, and another fourteen acres of Muscats belonging to still another of the same family, three and a half miles northeast of Kingsburg.




A progressive young rancher, whose capable wife, a real and valuable helpmate, represents the family of a successful viticulturist prominent in the community, is Henry A. Dunklau, the viticulturist and horticulturist, who was born at Arlington, Washington County, Nebr. He is a son of Zacharias and Johanna Dunklau, who located in Washington County, Nebr., in 1865, and there homesteaded eighty acres. Later Mr. Dunklau bought property adjoining, until he had 240 acres. He planted it to corn and devoted part of it to the raising of stock; and there he now resides, at the age of eighty-five, while his good wife is seventy-three. Eight children, all living, have risen to bless their worthy name.

The fourth eldest in the family, and the only one in California, Henry was brought up on a farm and attended the public schools. He remained at home helping his father until he was twenty-one, and then he started out for himself, working here and there for others on farms. After a while, his attention was attracted especially to California, and he finally decided to come to the Coast.

In January, 1908, he arrived in Colusa County, and the following spring came to Fresno County. In Temperance Colony he secured employment in vineyards and orchards, and set to work to learn the propagation and culture of grapes, as well as of trees, and also the preparation and leveling of land, and the staking and planting of vines and of trees. Desiring to engage in ranching on his own account, he purchased for the purpose forty acres on Locan near Ventura Avenue, completing the transaction in 1910, and immediately set it out as a vineyard. He improved the acreage, built several needed structures, bought another forty acres, and then sold it at a profit, after keeping it a couple of years.

During 1916, Mr. Dunklau bought his present property of seventy-two acres in the Kutner school district, twelve miles northeast of Fresno, which he has improved and is devoting to a vineyard and an orchard. He has twenty acres of white Adriatic figs, interset with prunes, plums and peaches; two acres of alfalfa, and the balance in different varieties of vines. He has a pumping plant with an eight-horse engine, and a well eighty-six feet deep, in which the water rises to within eight feet of the surface of the ground, thus furnishing ample water for irrigating his ranch. However, his ambition was not satisfied with’ this, and in partnership with his brother-in-law, Edward Bartels, he purchased forty acres across the county road from his ranch, which they also set out to vines. Mr. Dunklau has greatly enhanced the value of his home ranch by erecting a large, beautiful modern residence and by giving the grounds and ranch in general such excellent care that it has become known as one of the show places in the district. Believing in the cooperation of fruit-growers, he has always been an enthusiastic member of the California Associated Raisin Company.

At the home of the bride, in Temperance district, on November 22, 1911, Mr. Dunklau was married to Miss Emma Bartels, a native of Fresno and the daughter of Edward and Anna (Steinkamp) Bartels, settlers of Fresno County who are represented on another page in this history. Mrs. Dunklau, the eldest child, attended the public school and Heald’s Business College in Fresno, and now has two sons, Henry E. and William E. Dunklau. The family attends the German Lutheran Church in Fresno, Mrs. Dunklau being an active member of the Ladies’ Aid Society of the Church, as well as the Jefferson Auxiliary of the Clovis Chapter of the Red Cross. Mr. and Mrs. Dunklau showed their patriotism by giving their time and means towards the different branches of war-relief work, and they are active in all movements for the upbuilding of the community. They are both liberal and hospitable, and fortunate is the individual who is privileged to be entertained by them.




A capable and enterprising rancher, Andreas H. Andersen lives on his forty-acre ranch southwest of Reedley. Mr. Andersen was born in Denmark, March 7, 1886, and is the son of Antoni and Marie ( Hansen ) Andersen. He received a good education in the Danish language. His father died eight years before he left Denmark, and his mother three months before he sailed from Esbjerg via England for the United States. He landed at New York, April 29, 1908, and came directly to California, where he began working on a stock ranch southwest of Selma. He worked on various farms and also as still-man for three seasons under the late John Petersen, foreman of the Parlier Winery. From 1911 until 1917 he rented the Clark & Jones ranch of 160 acres.

In 1915 Mr. Andersen purchased his present property three miles southwest of Reedley. The land was a barley field four years ago, and Mr. Andersen has planted the place and made all improvements. He has 12 acres of Thompson seedless grapes, 7 ½ acres of Sultanas, 10 acres of Malagas. 300 apricot trees, 250 French prune trees and 90 fig trees on the border. These are all young trees and vines from three years old to the spring planting of 1919.

Mr. Andersen is an active member of the Danish Brotherhood and a trustee of the Danish Lutheran Church three miles west of Parlier. He is justly popular and highly esteemed in the community.




With over thirty years’ experience in the fruit-packing industry, Raymond D. Robinson is considered an authority on the various methods used in preparing fruit for the markets of the world.

He is an able manager of those who come under his direction as workers in the business and commands the respect of all with whom he comes in contact. He was born in Chenango County. N. Y., May 6, 1869. His education was received in the public schools and in the college at Marionville, Mo., to which state he was taken by his parents when he was a lad of ten years.

At the age of eighteen, on September 30, 1887, young Mr. Robinson arrived at Riverside, Cal., and the following week he secured employment in the packing house of the Griffin-Skelly Company. Since that date he has been in the employ of this company and its subsidiary, the California Packing Corporation. A service of more than thirty years with one company is something that reflects great credit on the ability of Mr. Robinson and of which he is justly proud. In appreciation of the faithful discharge of the duties of his position and the results obtained by him, the company presented him with an elegant gold watch, properly engraved, when he had completed his thirty years with them. This token of esteem is one of the most highly prized of his possessions.

The first two summers — 1887-1888 — Mr. Robinson was sent to Fresno during the packing season. He proved an apt pupil and soon mastered the details of the business, even going beyond and inaugurating new methods that soon attracted the attention of his superiors and earned him promotion. In 1889 he took up his residence in Fresno and for fourteen years he was superintendent of the packing house of Griffin-Skelly Company, then becoming plant manager. In 1917 the concern was merged with the California Packing Corporation and Mr. Robinson was retained in his old position. He has grown up in the packing industry, in which he is one of the pioneers in the packing and shipping of fruits. No man stands higher in the estimation of the growers and distributors, or commands the respect of those under his direction, than does Raymond U. Robinson. He is well and favorably known all over the fruit districts of the state.

The marriage of Mr. Robinson and Jennie M. Bevefiel, a native of Indiana, was celebrated in Fresno. They have four children: Fay, the wife of Herold Emmick and the mother of a daughter; Marjorie, Mrs. Jerome Crawford; Halbert, in the employ of the Santa Fe Railroad; and Doris, at home. Mr. Robinson has won a high place in the business circles of Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley and is a liberal contributor towards all projects that have for their object the upbuilding of the best interests of the county and state. He is a self-made man in the truest sense of the term, for he began at the bottom and by persistency of purpose he has gradually won a name and place for himself in one of the greatest lines of business in the state.



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