Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Charles P. Kendall - the Newspaper Interview (52 Ancestors #6)

Editor's Note:  this is another article for the series in which I'm participating, "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", a challenge by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small.

Uncle Charlie was probably seated at his kitchen table with the reporter from the Progress Edition of the Covina Citizen Newspaper sitting across from him listening intently while rapidly scribbling in his notebook.  The interview may have included a tour of the orchard and the barn. The story would run in the June 12, 1936 edition. 

Article Title in Progress Edition Covina Citizen Newspaper
 Oh, to have all of the reporter’s notes, oh if only there had been photos (since none accompanied the story).  But really, I am grateful that the small town newspaper where my California ancestors lived was digitized by NewpaperArchive.com.  The digitized versions of the Covina Argus and its successor, the Covina Citizen are available at the Covina Public Library or on NewspaperArchive.com.[1]

Washington Navel
Monrovia.com plant catalog
I found this gem of an article in 2013 during an ancestor newspaper mining expedition.  The article was bursting at the columns with information about my great-grandfather Henry Martin Kendall and his son, my great-uncle, Charles Pirl Kendall.  Henry, 1864-1937, was born in Rowan County, Kentucky.  Charles (1888-1972), his oldest and first-born son, was born in Kansas.

For this week’s 52 Ancestor challenge, I decided to put this article under the magnifier to learn just how many rich details were in this story.  The list will serve as the beginnings of a research plan.
  1. Size of orchard - 35 acre orange grove[2]
  2. How it began – 2 gallons of orange seed
  3. Cost - $8 per gallon
  4. When, who, where, how – in 1909 Charles carried the seed by horse back from Alhambra to the Baldwin Park area [California][3]
  5. Orchard address – 541 E. Ramona Blvd, Baldwin Park[4] [can it get any better?]
  6. Status of orchard in 1936 – where the grove now thrives
  7. Who planted the seeds – Charles and his father H.M. Kendall [Henry Martin Kendall]
  8. Why plant the seeds – to start a nursery, bud the trees then start their own orchards
  9. When the orchard was started – 1912
  10. Stats for acreage – H.M. Kendall had a 25 acre tract bought in 1905 for $2,300.  Chas. P. Kendall had a 10 acre tract bought in 1911 for $3,000.  [yep, more better]
  11. Type of oranges – 2/3 Washington navel; 1/3 Valencia
  12. When they came to the area - came to Azusa, California in 1889 from near Council Grove, Kansas
  13. Local landmark - Santa Fe depot there was being used as an orange packing house with “Chinamen” employed to wash and pack the fruit
  14. Uniquely California? – the Kendalls had never seen the “golden fruit”
  15. Age – H. M. Kendall was past 70 when the story was written
  16. Self-employed – Charles did most of the work on his grove
  17. Tools used – Charles reported that his father sawed wood by hand to avoid an attack of rheumatism; Charles preferred the power saw to avoid an attack of rheumatism [Uncle Charlie the techie?]
    Sears catalog 1920
    from Ancestry.com
  18. Other income – Charles was also in the domestic pump and water system business and installed many systems on ranches throughout the valley
WOW!  I hope you’re using newspapers in your research and are as fortunate as I am with my ancestor’s hometown newspaper.

[1] Digitized versions of these newspapers are Copyright 2008 Heritage Microfilm, Inc. and Newspaperarchive.com
[2] How big is 35 acres? From Ask.com: If a person has 35 acres of land, it is considered to be a pretty big amount of land to many different people. If you put together 26 American football fields together, it would be equal to about 35 acres of land. One acre of land is equal to 4046.86 square meters or 660 feet. Most people that would have this much land would live in an area that is considered to be in the country. The land is probably used as farmland or used for hunting.  http://www.ask.com/question/how-big-is-35-acres
[3] Walking distance calculated with current day Google map is about 12 miles or nearly 4 hours one-way.
[4] Benlow, Bob and Lorraine O’Brien. Baldwin Park Images of America.  Arcadia Publisher, 2011. Print.  From the back cover:  “Known as the “Hub of the San Gabriel Valley” due to its location as the geographical center of the valley, Baldwin Park formerly consisted of cattle-grazing  lands for the San Gabriel Mission.  Known as Vineland by 1880, and renamed after legendary investor and landowner Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin in 1906, the city incorporated in 1956.  Baldwin Park evolved as a diverse community along the San Gabriel River, where Ramona Boulevard and Maine Avenue became major thoroughfares. ..”

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