This was written by Fremont
Westfall's son Arch Westfall. Fremont
Westfall was related
to Joel Westfall who in the story was named as Joe. They
were at least
5th cousins or more. Charles is Charles (C.K.) Westfall . He
home of Joel Westfall which still stands on Westfall Road.
submitted by Carol Lackey
Fremont Westfall came into land
behind Indian Peak (Arch
Pearl Werley's father). There was a family named Greenwood who were
squatters. They planted some of the old trees, the fig trees and olive trees are still growing. Fremont bought out their improvements
in 1894 and filed on the land. Dad came from West Virginia and first went to work for Joe Westfall (no relation) on the present Barrett
place. He had a place near Joe's about a mile east. Then Charles, the preacher bought it. Sam's place is the present Bird's place, also known
as the Harris Ranch. Joe had a son, Rienza and Joe's grandson had a place at Pea Ridge, which is now part of the Rausch place. A horse
kicked him in the stomach and killed him in about 1913.
Fremont Westfall was born in 1861.
He went to Kansas, and heard
Westfall about Mariposa and came on to California in 1882. One of his
first experiences in the country was when they were coming in on the stage and ran in to a big rain storm. The water was very high and the driver was drunk. When they came to this river he was liquored up and they told him not to drive into it. The horses tangled in the water and upset the stage. Dad could swim pretty good and got out. The other fellow caught onto a fence post to save himself. Dad came back and untangled the horses. The driver wasn't hurt-he was too drunk to get hurt. They did not try to collect damages for the drunk fellow's actions, but the fellow with him said that he has a fifty dollar bill wrapped around a dollar (even though he didn't) and the stage company paid him $51. My dad worked for the Washburn
Company on roads up inWawona after he came here. That was when the soliders were in the park. When he first came here there
wasn't any road in here, and they came in from up by Usona. They managed to get a wagon in by driving cross country.
He sold vegetables and fruit to the
mines. The Gambetta Mine was
Gulch (gold). There was a little settlement up there- two stores, two
saloons, two hotels with a dance hall in one, a post office and a school. Now a couple of trees and a coral are all that is left. We used
to go 5 miles to Grub Gulch to get our mail. Would ride a jackass for mile, but Pearl was so scared when we got there she wouldn't even
Dorsey Ramsden kept a post office
(at Clair Wolfsen's place) at
Gulch. Ab Taylor had a store, Jack Morrison had a hotel. People named
Thomas had a dance hall and hotel and Charlie Lyons had a saloon. They had a school there- the Gambetta School (in Madera County).
The main road from Raymond to Wawona and Yosemite ran though there. Sell had a stage stop at Awahnee. My Dad sold
peaches at Ahwahnee at $1 for a 20 lb box. When I was a kid, I used to take blackberries on a Jackass to Grub Gulch for 75 cents per bucket.
Would load 6 buckets on each side f the Jackass. At that time you could get a man's pair of overalls for about $1. When the folks had
a good year, they would take in $500 to keep them for the whole year. If there was any money left over, they bought land. Pearl
married in 1912. We ate a lot of stuff off the ranch. Sometimes they would have a little money left over.
After they got roads in here, Dad
had a spring wagon, and he
enough hay to feed his horses. They could buy their provisions a little
cheaper by going to Le Grand. He would take three days-one day to go to our place at White Rock, the 2nd day to go to Le Grand and
return to White Rock, and the 3rd day to come home.
Besides growing vegetables and
fruit, he would keep increasing
and buy them. I was 12 when we had about 30 cows and I would help him.
The place at White Rock was on Illinois Hill (I inherited it) about 200 acres, joins Wallers, Richard and Gouchers.
My mother was Isabella Smither. She
also was the sister of Sophia
Smither Westfall (James Westfall's wife). She was a sister to Charlie
and Tommy. Her mother was an Elam.
Pearl Werely has an old Seth Thomas
clock from the Westfall
The Werely 50 Year Annniversary-1962
Fremont built this house in 1902 or
03 Dad put in the citrus
the early 1900's. It was an experiment. They were the first orange
in this county. He sold them, at about 35 to 50 cents per dozen. Started with 3 trees, 2 Mediterranean Sweet and one Navel and they are
still here. Have about 20 trees still alive.
Dad started in the old house and
part of that old house is in
The old house was down near where the garage is now. One time in the
house, my mother corrected me about something and I threw a knife at her and it stuck in the door. Of course I got tanned. One
time I got lost and Pearl cried. I was gone quite awhile, and they didn't know where I was, but I was really just down behind the barn.
There is an old story about hanging
the Mexican. His name was Julian
LaDon, and he was a notorious cattle thief. He would drive them to
Madera and sell them. This happened about 1890. He had a little cabin down here at Pea Ridge. One night three fellows were waiting for
him at his cabin, and when he cams in they captured him. They took him out to a tree and strung him up. People who saw it afterwards
said from the looks of the surroundings that they may have raised and lowered him several times to get him to talk. The next morning Will
McGurk came along the trail and bumped right into this dead Mexican. He just very quickly turned around and took off for help. These three
fellows were tracked, but they had run around and round two separate tracks.
McGurks's lived up on the mountain.
One of the fellows the Mexican sold
his stolen meat to was a
Madera. He surmised that Jack McGurk was one of the three, and met
with a gun. He shot Jack through the hip and his horse through the neck. He even offered Jack a horse to ride to get to a doctor. Jack said he'd make it on his own horse or not at all. As he rode into the doctors the blood was spurting out of the horses neck, andhad stumbled once with him, but brought him in. Both Jack and the horse recovered.
When I was a kid, we had a bunk
house and I slept there. People
drop in at different placed to stay overnight when they were caught
as general practice. This one night I had gone to bed alone in the bunk house, and awakened in the middle of the night to hear this
perfectly horrible gibberish. (What I didn't know was that Charlie Nutter, one of our neighbors had come to the creek, found it too high to
cross to get home and stopped to sleep at the bunkhouse, as he often done). He was talking in his sleep and scared me to death. I came
running up to the house and woke my folks. When they came down to the bunkhouse to see who it was, they found Charlie Nutter. He never did
wake up, and didn't know what he caused.
Tom Nutter, in the 1880's bought the Grant Springs Place from Grant (up on the road from Elliott's Corner to Nipinnawassee).
The Stumpfield place was owned by
Arch Leonard, who was a white
an Indian wife. He was a guide in the park for the soldiers. He
stay in there and his family lived on the place. He wouldn't come home until about the 4th of July and in the spring they would have another papoose.
Usona was only established as a post office about 1920.
Knute Phillips lived at Schatz
place. They went to school at
flats. The Lyons' place was owned originally by Matt Logan. Bailey
Post Office was established about 1910.
John Jacobs, an Indian, was
Fremont's neighbor. My mother used to
about the Indians getting a little wild, but they were good neighbors
around here. My mother was raised at Ball Ranch, and that was where I was born (Triangle Road). She was a Smither and raised her
children up there. My grandmother cooked at the mining camps, took in washing or whatever she could find to do, when she was left a
widow. There wasn't too much a woman could do. She worked at Whitlock when it was a thriving community.
Robbie DeMoss is Arch's uncle. My
grandmother was a widow for a
years, married a DeMoss and she only had three children by him. He
to play the fiddle, but did not make a living. Then she married Kinman, but no children.
The Grub Gulch Mine closed about
1910, and from then on they kept
away. They had a big mine which went underground and mined for some
time. There was a butcher shop there. When we first came in here, there was a fellow named Perry Andrews, also another stock
raiser. The folks had a milk cow and a steer calf. Mother saw this fellow drive two to three of his cattle from our place and her
steer calf went with them. She told my dad he was driving the calf off to butcher, and the calf never showed up again.
Oliver Kate's and Perry Andrews
were finally caught later,
and Joe Westfall put up the bail for them. They jumped bail. Kate's
back years later, but had lost a leg so they never pressed charges. Kate's place was up here on the Ahwahnee Road.
The phone was put in about 1912.
Jacobs got a phone too. We
line 3 or 4 miles across and connected with the phone above. Pearl
Werley has pictures that were used in the Centennial but they were not returned to her. The old courting couch of red velvet is down
in the barn-came across from San Francisco. Mrs. Gallison had a beautiful marble-top table of cherry wood.
This creek that comes down from
where the Indians lived-4th of
Gulch, was known as Papoose Canyon. One Indian women had children quite
regularly, with no particular father. Sometimes she
would show her condition, but there would never be a baby afterwards
nobody ever investigated to find out what happened to them.
Tom Gibbs place (Lucy Hite's son)
is the present Clarke place on
Indian Peak Road. There was one particular small climbing rose that
legend says whenever was planted, there lived one of Lucy Hite's relatives. Bill Bolton and I used to have lunch with old Lucy, but one
day she had some wild grass syrup. She was wearing old overall moccasins and the lid from the syrup dropped off. She picked it up off
the floor, and wiped it off on the moccasin, and put the lid back on. We didn't eat any more syrup.
By Arch Westfall.
OBITUARY FOR FREMONT WESTFALL
Modesto Bee, Nov. 22, 1940
Pioneer Resident of California Dies
Merced, Nov. 22
Fremont Westfall, 78, a resident of Raymond, Mariposa County for the past 50
years died in the Mercy Hospital here yesterday after a brief illness.
Westfall was born in West Virginia and had been a resident of California for 55
years. He was engaged in the cattle raising industry until the time of his
Surviving Westfall are a widow Mrs. Isabell Westfall, a daughter Mrs.
Worley and two sons, Arch and John Westfall, all of Mariposa county. Funeral
arrangements are pending in the Tiscornia Ivers & Alcorn Funeral Home in
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