Philo Sidney MINER Jr. (1838 – 1911) was Alex’s 3rd Great Grandfather, one of 16 in this generation.
Philo Sidney Miner was born 25 Mar 1838 in Kinsman Township, Trumbull County, Ohio. His parents were Philo Sidney MINER Sr. and Sophia L. POLLY. It appears that Philo Sidney Jr went by Sidney. Registered class 1 in the draft 1 Jul 1863, still living in Kinsman, Trumbull, Ohio. He married Calista Jane LATTA on 4 May 1869 in Cass County Nebraska. Philo Sidney died on 12 Jun 1911 in Fowler, Fresno, California.
Calista Jane Latta was born on 11 Nov 1849 in Cincinnati Ohio. Calista’s name is spelled a variety of ways in different censuses: Calista, Clystia, Christie, Celeste, Clista and Lista. Her parents were Robert McConaha LATTA and Letitia JOHNSTON. Calista was living in Township 4, Fresno County, California in the 1910 census.
Children of Sidney and Calista:
|1.||Harvey Latta MINER||26 Jan 1873
Rock Bluff, Cass, Nebraska
|12 Mar 1958
|2.||Nellie Miner||15 Nov 1877
|16 May 1879|
|3.||Marion Harland Miner||13 Mar 1882
Murray, Cass, Nebraska
|Florence Ora Brown
|16 Dec 1985
Dinuba, Tulare, CA
|4.||Anderson Root Miner||31 Aug 1884
Murray, Cass, Nebraska
|18 Jun 1974 Fresno CA|
In the 1870 census, entries for Philo and Calista Miner appear right after his father-in-law Robert McConaha LATTA. They must have lived next door in Rock Bluff, Nebraska. Philo was a farmer just starting out with a new 160 acre homestead. The value of his real estate was $1600 and his persona estate was $600. See my page Western Pioneers for a description of Rock Bluff.
In the 1877 Nebraska census, Calista’s youngest brothers were living with the Miner family in Rock Bluffs. They were left orphans when both Calista’s parents died young. Sidney’s mother died when he was only 1 year old, so I imagine they had a special bond.
In the 1880 census, Calista’s two youngest brothers were living with the Miner family in Rock Bluffs, Cass, Nebraska. Their mother died in 1870 shortly after giving birth the Elbert and their father died in 1872. Uncle Bert was like a brother to the three Miner kids – Harvey, Anderson and Marion. Philo’s stepmother Charity died in 1868, Philo Sr. shipped his youngest children, Clement, William, Walter, and John out to other families. John was living with his oldest brother in 1880.
Philo Sidney Miner moved with his family from Nebraska to Fowler California about 1890. His son Harvey had come out to California first to work in a lumber mill. Philo was a vineyardist and orchardist. Fowler has a strong agricultural community, with lush grape vineyards and expansive farmland. Fowler is located 11 miles southeast of downtown Fresno. Its post office opened in 1882 and it incorporated in 1908. In 2009 it had a population of 5,586, two-thirds Hispanic.
FOWLER’S story began with the railroad, a state senator and the senator’s cattle. Thomas Fowler and Thomas Davis came west to California in 1853 with the intention of heading to the gold fields. Instead, they got into the cattle business. They purchased a large acreage along the Kings River near Minkler and Sanger. Their cattle carried the “76” brand and ranged across the valley. As his empire and influence grew, Fowler decided to enter politics. In September of 1869, he was elected to the state senate.
When the Central Pacific Railroad began to lay track south of Fresno Station, Senator Fowler saw it as a perfect chance to find an efficient way to get his cattle to market. He arranged for a switch to be placed 10 miles south of Fresno. Fowler’s first shipment of cattle left Fowler Switch right after it opened in August of 1872.
As the area grew, people began talking about incorporating. In 1908, an election was held to decide the matter but there was one major issue — would alcoholic beverages be sold in Fowler or not! The campaign was heated. On election day, May 26, 1908, 97 percent of the voters in Fowler voted and incorporation passed. Two weeks later, the sale of liquor in Fowler was banned and remained so until 1933.
Two son who settled in California’s Central Valley, raised large farming/ranching families, and lived long productive lives. Grandpa’s uncle Marion lived to be 103 years old. No one in this family divorced, until the 1980′s. All of them were Christians and teetotallers.
1. Harvey Latta MINER (See his page)
3. Marion Harland Miner
Marion was a farmer in the Central Valley. He lived to be 103 and died in Dinuba, Tulare County. His brother Anderson wrote in 1972:
At his 90th birthday celebration that “ol boy” don’t look a day older than he did twenty years ago. He does all of the irrigating and cultivating on 27 acres of vineyard and sems to thrive on it. His daughter Avalyn lives close by and he gets some of his meals there, but most of the time, he lives there all alone. Hope I can do that well.
Marion’s wife Florence Ora Brown was born 3 Aug 1885 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa. Her parents were Thomas Lindsey Brown (1859, Monmouth, Wabash, Illinois – 1927 Fowler, Fresno, Calif) and Clara Florence McAfee (1860 Eugene, Iowa – 1922 Fowler, Fresno, Calif). Florence died 4 Jan 1952 in Dinuba, Tulare, California.
Ora or ” Mommo”, Miner was famous for her pie baking and the secret was to add dried peach pits to the wood burning stove at the right time to boost temps and deliver even high heat.
In the 1910 census, Marion (28) was a merchant of a general store living on 4th Street in Township 4, Fresno with wife Ora (24) and daughter Avelyn R (1)
In the 1920 census, Marion (38) was a farmer living in Township 8, Fresno with wife Florence Ora Brown (35), daughter Avelyn Ruth (11), son Leslie B (9) and son Robert Sidney (7).
In the 1930 census, Marion (48) was a farmer in Dinuba, Tulare, California with wife, Ora (43), Leslie Miner (19), Robert Miner (17), and Betty J Miner (8)
Marion’s obituary says he came west from Nebraska to Fowler in 1888. He graduated from school in Fowler and was the town’s first mail carrier making his rounds by horse and buggy. He married Ora Brown and moved with his family to Dinuba in 1914. He was a elder of the Dinuba Presbyterian Church and sang in the choirs of both the Dinuba and Fowler Presbyterian Churches. He was trustee of the South Mt. School District in the early 1900′s.
Children of Marion and Ora:
i. Avalyn Ruth Miner was born 10 Sep 1908 in Township 4 (Fowler), Fresno, California. She first married Clyde Savateer. In 1947 she married Sidney Hurbert Halls. Avalyn died 11 Apr 2010 at the age of 101!
Published in Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Adv-Register on April 21, 2010 Passed away on Sunday, April 11, 2010 Avalyn was last living in Sanger, California. Memorial Service: April 29, 2010 at 11am at Dinuba Presbyterian Church. Arrangements by Dopkins Funeral Chapel.
Avalyn’s first husband Clyde Savateer was a member of the Championship Basketball team from Dinuba in 1926. He worked as a Dairymen in various cities Sanger, Dinuba, and Merced, and others. He died tragically of a burst appendix, penicillin not readily available at that time and could have made a difference. Shirley Savateer aunt lived in Sonora, CA. Sue, their only child born in 1936 in Merced married Roger Shoemaker of Linclon, Neb. Sue has done quite a lot of research on the early days in Nebraska. Sue’s and Roger’s children include: Deborah Lynn (b. 1961), Bruce (b. 1965), Glenn (b. 1968) and Elizabeth Anne (b. 1972)
Avalyn’s second husband Sidney Herbert Halls was born 27 Aug 1900 in Olinda, Shasta, California. Sidney died 12 Dec 1961 in Fresno, Fresno, California. His parents were Percy Langdon Halls (1871 – 1943) and Daisy Grace Maud Ford (1881 – 1974). In 1900, the family was living at 631 Post Street (at Taylor) San Francisco. For a holiday Percy would rent a horse team and wagon and travel to Walnut Creek to visit, relatives ( the English Family), and swim in the creek there. Sid’s brother Harold nearly died of Typhoid Fever when they were camping after the Earthquake.
April 18th, 5:12 am 1906, Percy and Daisy had a 1 year old, Doris, Harold , and the oldest Sidney 7, and lived in the city at 631 Post st. at Taylor (near Van Ness) in S.F. Percy was working for Shrivers Jewelers, as a buyer and salesmen. Daisy had just purchased bolts of material from Paris for her corset making business, and had supplied Chapman’s Dept. store and private parties, when the Great Quake occurred. They had to evacuate, and their house was chosen to be dynamited to create a firebreak. One of the last items to be taken out was the Ford Family Bible and her Trophy, given presented to her by Queen Victoria for being the top performer at her school (Stockwell Infants School),in London when 7-8 yr.s old. this trophy, is with the Mustain Family in Sacramento(Gold River) Ca. Carol & Larry.
They stayed in a refugee tent camp in Twin Peaks. . for days, while Percy was waiting for the safe at Shrivers to cool so they could rescue the contents, Daisy toke the kids by row boat across the bay to Berkeley, and stayed in a basement for a week until they moved to Susuin Bay area where they contracted Malaria. A desperate Daisy took the advice of an Indain cure and rolled up resin balls and soaked them in turpentine, to use as pills for the cure, well it worked, along with some prayer.
They then hooked up with her sisters in close by Fairfield, and stayed with Ada Ford (English) on Abernathy St. near now Hwy 80. They later relocated in Berkeley.
He first married 18 Sep 1920 in Alameda County, California to Angelina Marie McGuinness (b. 1899 in Liverpool, England – d. 1973 in Oakland, Calif.) Sid and Angelina had one son Richard Herbert Halls (b. 29 Jun 1921 in Oakland, California – d. 26 Jan 1985 in Fresno, Fresno, California) who later married Avalyn’s younger sister Betty (See his story below)
Marie as she was known, was light hearted. Her laugh came easily. She liked to move around probably due to her fathers dealings in building and selling homes there in Oakland.
She arrived in the United States Jun 10, 1910 — Age: 11 Vermont via Quebec Can. Final dest. Oakland, CA by train. Marie became a US citizen in 1943 and married in 1944 in Oakland, California to John Phipps.
He next married 15 Sep 1928 in Reno, Nevada to Elizabeth Eleanor Halls (1906 – ) Sid and Elizabeth had one daughter Joan Halls Klenk (1935 – ). Elizabeth, the red head, had a temper that came out violently, but to be fair, Sid liked to drink more than his share of beer. Sid and Elizabeth divorced 27 Oct 1942.
Avalyn and Sid had one child Thomas Harland Halls (b. 1952 in Dinuba), Thomas married Barbara Lewis. Thomas and Barbara have three children: Nathaniel (b. 1977), Gabriel Lewis (b. 1980) and Isaac Ellsworth (b. 1985) (See Thomas’ bio below)
My life as I lived it
By Avalyn Halls(written 1989?)
I was born in Fowler Ca. on September 10, 1908 to Marian Miner and Ora Brown Miner. At the age of six we moved to a ranch in the Smith Mountain Area, corner of Porter and Floral. My brother and I attended Smith Mountain School with Mrs. Helen Elam as our teacher. We transferred to the Dinuba Schools when I was in the seventh grade at Washington. Riding a bicycle was hard work as the roads were not oiled, just sand. Three and a half miles was a real challenge. So I was given a drivers license at the age of 12 to drive the Model T Ford. I attended Dinuba High school and was active in athletics – baseball was the best – girls did not have much ‘help’ during those days. Our long full black bloomers did not help a ball player. I graduated form Dinuba High in 1926.
I attended Fresno State for a year and a half. I enjoyed my membership in the local Chapter of the Alpha Theta Sorority and later into National Kappa Alpha Theta. I served one semester as student secretary. At that time there were about 1,500 students at Fresno State. I had fun.
In June of 1928, I married Clyde Savateer and we had a daughter Sue. Clyde died in 1939. We were living in Merced at the time. He died of a ruptured appendix and this was before penicillin or sulfa were being used. I moved back to Dinuba and worked for Bank of America. Sue and I lived with Mom and Dad on Crawford Ave.
I became very active in my Presbyterian Church life. I had joined this church in 1921. I helped organize the Westminster Guild, a group for working women; served several times as President of the Presbyterian Women’s organization, helped with that groups “Valentine’s Teas”, “Here Comes the Bride” fashion shows, sang in the choir and taught Sunday School. I’ve been an elder many times, served on Presbyterian Committees
and Synod. Most of all I’ve enjoyed being the ‘Wedding Coordinator’ for our church for 35 years. These activities have been more rewarding to strengthen my faith in Christ.
In 1946 I married Sid Halls from Fresno. This was during wartime and housing was hard to find so we remodeled a small house on the ranch and Sid commuted to Fresno each day. He had a daughter Joan who came to live with us. She and Sue attended and graduated from Dinuba High School. In 1952 we built our home on the low corner of Dad’s ranch, namely Crawford and Saginaw. Our son Thom was born in February 1952, the reason for needing more room.
My mother died in January 1952. She had been very ill for several years and I was glad I was able to be near her and help. Her passing was a great loss to me because she was my best friend. She was a strong Christian woman with a great sense of humor. She and Dad gave us four kids a great heritage. I was blessed with two brothers Bob and Les and a sister Bette Jean. Mom’s sense of humor carried us through many tough times. Early in the 1930′s, (the Depression) we lost our 40 acres on Floral and Porter Avenues. Prices for raisins and peaches were so low we could not make the $1,500.00 owed on the ranch.
The A.T. White family rented a small house to the folks; Dad and the two boys pruned vines for .25 cents per hour and glad to get the work. In 1934 Dad bought the Mache (?) place on Crawford Ave. They soon started a small dairy and established the first “drive in” dairy in Dinuba. People would come with a gallon mayonnaise jar and exchange it for a full jar of Miner’s Milk. You could use the top cream for whipping cream. My how times have changed!
On Dad’s birthday in March 1953 I started a big birthday party for many of our families birthdays, we discovered there were at least eight with that month’s birthdays. This is the tradition that is still being carried on. My backyard served the purposes for many years with an attendance between 30 and 40 people. Now we meet at Thom Halls’ place in order to carry on the great gathering. We celebrated many happy birthdays with Dad as
he lived to 103 years old.
Sid died in 1961. Thom was nine years old at the time. Thom graduated from Dinuba High School (as did Sue and Joan) and went on to The College of the Sequoias in Visalia, then on to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in journalism. Sue and Joan both graduated from Fresno State. Joan taught school for many years in Hayward. Sue was a busy mother with four children.
I was busy all this time with several jobs as bookkeeper; I worked for Bob Hamilton for ten years and retired in 1973.
My church has filled a void in my life and I am very grateful for God’s care and protection. I also enjoyed the Dinuba Women’s Club and have been a member for over 50 years. Town Hall was always fun and a ‘day out’ as was the symphony orchestra. I have been greatly blessed.
Thomas Halls was born in 1952 in Dinuba, California. After graduating from Dinuba High School, Halls attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where he majored in Graphic Arts. While attending CalPoly (1975), Halls worked part-time for the Morro Bay Sun Bulletin, and upon graduation, as a photographer for the San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune. In 1979, he returned to the San Joaquin Valley, where he worked at the Fresno Bee as a photographer, photo editor, and eventually Director of Photography.
In 2001, Halls left the newspaper world and began a new career, teaching at Fresno City College. Today Halls teaches various courses in photojournalism, photo editing and marketing, including self-publishing. To familiarize himself with the self-publishing process, Halls published a book using a small number of the waterfront images taken during his years spent in San Luis Obispo County. A few of those images had been used in 1975 as a part of his Cal Poly senior project, others were published while he was with the Tribune. Most, however, had never been seen by anyone other than Halls; it was time to share, and Halls did so in The Harbor (2006). Halls’ work has been published in Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Christianity Today, American Photographer, Black and White Magazine, Best of Photojournalism V, and major newspapers around the world, including the New York, Tokyo and London Times. He has received awards for photography and editing from the National Press Photographers Association, the Society of Newspaper Design, and an Honorable Mention from Prix De La Photographie Paris 2007 International Competition.
Go to Thom Halls Photography.com His work speaks for itself.
ii. Leslie Brown Miner was born 16 Mar 1911 in Township 4, Fresno, California. He married Lydia Krum. Leslie died 16 Jan 2004 in Fresno, Fresno, California.
No family runs like clock work. Leslie and Marion his father, did not get along all that well, and left the family setting early on but stayed in touch and was always apart of the family group. He worked for a Real estate office and the Railroad, lived on W. Vagedes , in Fresno, played a good game of golf, and was an expert woodsmith carving and making furnature and figures. Active in the church and a good father.
Lydia Krum still lives in Fresno and they had two daughters: Elaine Lee Miner (b. 1940) m. 1976 Carmel to Steve Shultz and Margaret Ann (Margo) Miner (b. 1943) m. Gene Burleson.
iii. Robert Sidney (Bob) Miner was born 5 Mar 1913 in Township 4, Fresno, California. He married Leola Moxsy in 1942. Bob died 5 Jan 2010 in Fresno, Fresno, California.
He had two daughters Mary Lyons of Orinda (b. 1949 exactly 10 years before me – we share a birthdate) (m. Irving (Bud) F. Lyons) and Melissa (Missy) Jeffers of Del Mar (m. Keith Jeffers) and four grandchildren: Jennifer Lyons, Katherine Ashley Lyons, Lauren Stefanie Jeffers, and Scott Robert Jeffers.
Bob visited my grandparents in Inglewood in 1939 on his way to a summer of biking in Europe. My Dad thought he was a college student. his birthday made him 27, and he suspect he was already a school teacher. A couple my Dad knew in Mexico who were from Fresno had a lot of nice things to say about Bob.
Bob was a very funny guy. Very quick witted and personable, he had the winner attitude that propelled him to one of the top spots in education in Fresno County.
13 Mar 1942 – Enlisted as a single man at Fort Macarthur San Pedro, California
Education: 4 years of college
Occupation: Teachers (secondary school) and principals
Height: 5′ 9″ Weight: 183
Fresno educator Miner known for kindness Posted at 12:35 AM on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010 By Paula Lloyd / The Fresno Bee
Former educator Robert Sidney Miner of Fresno died Jan. 5 at 96, but family members and friends say he will be remembered for his kindness and wit, and that he left a legacy that continues to educate teens. Mr. Miner was hired as a teacher by the Fresno Unified School District in 1940. He was principal at Roosevelt High School from 1954-62 and retired as an assistant superintendent for the district in 1975. After retirement, he went back to work as executive director of the Fresno Regional Foundation from 1975-91. He was survived by Wife Leola; sister Avalyn Halls; daughters Mary Lyons and Missy Jeffers; four grandchildren.
Leola Miner was born on June 5, 1918 in Fresno and passed away September 29, 2010 in Fresno at the age of 92. Her parents were Leopold I. Moxsy and Clara Frowsing. She was from a family of early pioneers who arrived in Fresno before 1885. She was not only a wonderful Teacher, but worked hard for various charities in Fresno. She is survived by daughters Mary Lyons married to Bud of Orinda, Ca and Melissa Jeffers married to Keith of Del Mar, Ca. A graveside service was held on Saturday, October 3, 2010 at Belmont Memorial Park at 1:00 pm. Arrangements under the direction of Lisle Funeral Home, Fresno, CA.
“Bob was a fine educator and very well known and liked by parents, other educators and students,” said Nancy Richardson, a former Fresno Unified school board member.
“He was very easy to talk to, very reasonable, down to earth and a good problem solver,” said Richardson, who met Mr. Miner when her children were in school.
Gary Renner of Fresno, a fellow member of the Rotary Club of Fresno, remembered Mr. Miner as “a warm, genuine man.”
Mr. Miner helped found the Rotary Club of Fresno’s Camp Royal program that trains high school student leaders. The program was so effective, it has spread to other Rotary Clubs in Kings, Tulare and Mariposa counties, Renner said.
Mr. Miner’s idea to have the students run Camp Royal, guided by adults, was “brilliant,” Renner said. “He really had a great idea. It has stayed just like he envisioned it, and it’s impacted lots of young people.”
Carol Hansen, principal of Duncan Polytechnical High School and a fellow Rotary member, said when Duncan students have attended Camp Royal, “they are forever changed in such a positive way. It’s so heartwarming.”
Hansen also recalls Mr. Miner’s kind and cheerful personality. “He always had a smile for everyone,” she said.
One of Mr. Miner’s daughters, Mary Lyons, said her father had “a gift for storytelling and joke telling. I just found a list of his 12 favorite jokes.”
Mr. Miner had a long list of stories and jokes memorized by number, she said. “We’d drive up to Shaver Lake and we’d say, ‘Dad, tell us number 27,’ and he would rattle it off. Or we’d say, ‘Tell us number 4,’ and he’d say, ‘I don’t like number 4. How about number 8?’
“In serious moments, there was a story that meant something. He had a gift that no one else in the family has. He was an extremely kind person. He invested in human beings, no matter what,” she said.
Mr. Miner was a longtime member of First Presbyterian Church.
“He was very intelligent, very thoughtful and very compassionate,” said Stan Cooper of Fresno, who attended a weekly Bible study with Mr. Miner. “He always had a twinkle in his eye. He was so positive.”
Bob’s Family Obituary
Robert Sidney Miner passed away on Tuesday, January 5, 2010. We were all shocked, and deeply saddened, we thought he would live forever. Dad was a true legend. He had impeccable integrity, a positive outlook on life, a fantastic sense of humor, a powerful work ethic, and was dedicated to his family and friends. He enjoyed being surrounded by people and had that rare gift of putting people at ease. His warm smile said it all.
Dad was born on March 5, 1913, in Fowler, Ca. He attended Dinuba High School and went on to Fresno State College where he served as Student Body President and was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. He became a teacher and then WWII interrupted his life. He served in the U.S. Army and married Leola Moxsy, his college sweetheart, in 1942. After the war, Bob attended University of Southern California, where he earned his Masters in Education.
The couple returned to Fresno to serve education. Dad’s favorite years were as principal of Roosevelt High School. He made an impact on all who knew him and became active in American Field Service which brought many foreign students to Roosevelt and into our home. Even as he was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Fresno Unified Schools, he was still the teacher.
Storytelling was his gift, as well as his use of an arsenal of jokes to illustrate a point or lighten a moment. He loved to make people laugh. Dad was a networker. He loved to help develop programs to bring out the best in people. In 1948 he joined the Fresno Rotary Club where he served on the board, served as president in ’58-’59, was a district chairman, and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was instrumental in the development and evolution of Camp Royal from 1969-1984. Rotary, and its principles, was extremely important in his life. He was active in the USC Trojan Alumnae Club, but his passion was Fresno State athletics. He followed all of the baseball, softball, basketball and was a season ticket holder, tail-gater and huge Bulldog football supporter. He also supported many other organizations including the Fresno Zoological Society, Valley Children’s Hospital, the Better Business Bureau and UNICEF.
He was a Presbyterian all his life, and a member of the First Presbyterian Church for over 60 years. He was a member of the Executive Club as well as a men’s Bible study group that met weekly. He donated to many causes and always felt that he could make a difference.
In 1975 Dad retired from the schools and enjoyed traveling the world, even leading tour groups which gave him that “teacher” role once again. He and Mom visited China, Europe, the Middle East, Scandinavia and Russia. Retirement didn’t suit him so he became the director of the Fresno Regional Foundation. Here he could really use his incredible people skills. He was instrumental in the development of the Metropolitan Museum.
At age 75 he retired again. For the past 20 years he has enjoyed his daughters and their families, and has attended all of the significant events in the lives of his grandchildren.
He has been dedicated to taking care of Leola. Bob is survived by his wife, Leola; sister, Avalyn Halls (age 101); daughter, Mary Lyons and husband Bud; daughter, Missy Jeffers and husband Keith; and four grandchildren who knew him as Bob-Bob, Katie Van Blois and husband Brad, Jenny Lyons, Lauren Jeffers and Scott Jeffers. A Memorial Service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 1540 M. St. on Thursday, January 14, 2010, at 10:00 a.m., reception at the church will follow. Remembrances and donations can be made to The Bull Dog Foundation at Cal State University Fresno – Athletics, 5241 N. Maple Ave, Fresno, CA 93701. LISLE FUNERAL HOME 1605 ‘L’ Street Fresno, Ca. (559)266-0666
“Historically, a foundation usually had to wait to get the first big gift,” said O. James Woodward III, the son of O. J. Woodward. The idea was that once the first big gift came in, the credibility of the organization would rise and other philanthropic citizens would be more likely to contribute. But major gifts don’t happen overnight-people need a certain comfort level to give. It would take contributions of a few well-known citizens to raise the awareness of the Foundation’s work. Bob Miner, Executive Director from 1976 to 1991, (see sidebar story above) was known to say, “All we need is a million dollars. A million would make two million.”
Then, in 1977, it happened. Lewis S. Eaton, a friend of O. J. Woodward and a longtime supporter of Fresno cultural arts, became aware that the old Fresno Bee building at Van Ness and Calaveras was to be torn down. Built in 1922, the 85,000 square-foot building had been abandoned when the newspaper moved to new quarters, but the McClatchy family still owned it. Eaton convinced the family to donate it to the Foundation to be turned into a cultural center.
Thus, in 1977, the Foundation’s assets topped $1 million. The conversion of the McClatchy Bee Building into what would become the Fresno Metropolitan Museum got the Foundation some badly needed press, and with heavy-hitting philanthropists like McClatchy, Eaton, William Lyles, and J. Delbert Crummey behind the cause, word about the Foundation spread.
Roosevelt football revved up for Pig Game – Riders gain inspiration from former player. Fresno Bee Nov 10 2010
Tom Sommers had a big year as Roosevelt High’s quarterback in 1959, but it was something that occurred on campus 50 years later that he treasures just as well.
Asked to give the Rough Riders’ football team a pep talk at a November dinner in the school cafeteria a few days before annual Pig Game against Fresno last year, Sommers brought with him his former school principal, the late Bob Miner.
Miner was 95 years old, and he would die two months later, but not before he was followed out of the cafeteria that night by a combination of about 15 Roosevelt players and cheerleaders, thanking him for his presence.
“I drove Bob home,” Sommers says, “and all he could talk about were those kids. He said, ‘Imagine that they came out and greeted me as if I did something big.’ We were so impressed with the great caliber of young people there.”
Sommers admittedly hasn’t been involved with his alma mater for “many years.” But so moved by the direction of the school and football program as led by Principal Bryan Wells and coach Mike Hobbie, he returned to give a repeat talk Monday night — two days before tonight’s 82nd Pig Game with Fresno at Sunnyside Stadium.
“Not all those kids who came out running to Mr. Miner have homes and parents,” Sommers says. “A lot of those kids are being taught that [appreciation] by coaches, teachers, Wells and Hobbie.
On the field, however, it promises never to be the same, given the dramatic shift of demographics at the southeast Fresno school.
And history supports that — the Riders last won a league football title in 1963 and a Central Section championship in 1953 (the year before Bob Miner became principal).
Section playoffs were suspended from 1957-66. Not long after they resumed, the city began experiencing white flight to the north, Clovis Unified exploded and athletic stability became an annual challenge at Roosevelt and its Fresno Unified brethren.
iv. Elizabeth (Betty) Jean Miner was born 17 Dec 1921 in Dinuba, Tulare, California. She married Robert Halls, son of her older sister Avalyn’s second husband, Sid Halls with his first wife. Betty died 19 Jan 2002 in San Luis Obispo County, California
Betty’s husband Richard (Dick) Herbert Halls was born 29 Jun 1921 in Oakland, Alameda, California. His parents were Sidney Herbert Halls and Angelina Marie McGuinness. Sid later married Betty’s sister Avalyn. (See their stories above).
Dick first married Pearl Laverna Sullivan and their infant baby girl born in El Paso, Texas in Mar 1946 was put up for adoption. Dick and Pearl divorced 25 Jul 1946. Dick and Betty married 31 oct 1947 in Dinuba, Tulare, CA. They had one son, James Herbert Halls (b. 1949) and two infants that died young in 1951 and 1953. Dick died 26 Jan 1985 in Fresno, Fresno, California.
James Herbert Halls was born in 1949. He first married Cynthia Lynn Carter. He married second to Leslie Wallis. James and Leslie have one daughter Hayley Elizabeth Halls (b. 1999 in San Luis Obispo)
James writes of one of the first hydrogen bomb tests:
It was 4:00 o’clock in the morning when my father woke me up. I was maybe 6 or 7. He said come on I want you to see something important. We went out to the den area where the largest sliding glass door in Fresno faced to the east. So we waited for a while, then my Dad said any minute,” now watch closely Jim.” This was either the first or second testing of the Hydrogen Bomb outside Las Vegas Area 51, and when it went off it was amazingly bright, lit the entire sky like daylight, you could make out the sierras silhouette sharp features. Very, very bright and lasted for 3-6 seconds and then dimmed. I was impressed, then later in 62′ during the Cuban Missile Crisis, it became a awful reminder of what could occur.
4. Anderson Root Miner
Anderson was also a farmer in the Central Valley. He married Georgia Abbott before 1911. He was a beekeeper in Fowler, Fresno County according to his World War I draft registration. My Dad remembers that Christmas packages always contained canned honey and canned raisins from “Miner’s” in Fresno. Anderson lived to be 89 and died 13 May 1968 in Fresno California.
Here’s a biography of his namesake Anderson Root, He shares the same ancestry as the Miners: Connecticut, Trumbull Ohio, Scotch/Irish and Rock Cliff Nebraska.
Anderson Root was born 14 Aug 1842 in Kinsman, Trumbull, Ohio, the son of Charles T. Root (b. Feb 1818 in Canaan, CT) and Sally Ann Laughlin (b. 1819; d. 3 Mar 1851). He married Margaret Louise Snodgrass 7 Dec 1864 in Shenango, Crawford, PA.
Margaret was born 25 May 1842 in Jamestown, Mercer County, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Robert Snodgrass and Eliza Jane Thompson. Her maternal grandparents were William Thompson and Mary Latta. Her maternal great-grandparents were William L LATTA and Elizabeth RANKIN. Margaret died 9 May 1905 in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona. Her maternal grandparents were William Thompson and Mary Latta, were natives of Ireland, and of Scotch ancestry. Mary Latta’s parents were our ancestors William L LATTA and Elizabeth RANKIN.
She was the mother of Charles Thompson Root, Robert Snodgrass Root, Jennie Root Crabb and Ralph Roy Root and with her family was an early pioneer in Cartwright, Maricopa, Arizona Territory.
Anderson, along with his brother Nelson, enlisted 22 Aug 1861 in Co. C, 2nd Reg. Ohio Cavalry and was a Civil War veteran. He went to Nebraska in Oct 1865 and farmed for seven years, then ran the State Agricultural Farm in Lincoln, NE for three years. He was a member of the Nebraska State Legislature from Cass County, NE. Anderson, his wife Margaret and three of his four children, Ralph, Jennie and Charles were pioneers to Cartwright, Maricopa, Arizona Territory where he died of heart failure 29 July 1896.
From History of Cass County, Nebraska. (the full story)
HON. ANDERSON ROOT, an ex-member of the Nebraska Legislature and one of the solid citizens of Cass County, is a gentleman of more than ordinary capabilities, kind-hearted, public-spirited and benevolent, possessing hosts of friends, and of that uniform and kindly temperament which carries a happy influence with him wherever he goes. He owns and occupies a fine farm on section 34, in Rock Bluff Precinct, comprising 220 acres, and gives his support to all enterprises having for their object the general welfare of his community. His family comprises an amiable and intelligent wife, and a group of bright and interesting children, the latter named respectively: Charles T., who is a student at the school of telegraphy, Janesville, Wisconsin: Robert S., Eliza J. and Ralph Roy are at home. Mr Root is a lifelong Republican politically, and he and his estimable wife are members in good standing of the United Presbyterian Church at Murray.
The subject of this sketch is a great-grandson of Dr. Anson Root, an eminent physician in the State of Connecticut, where his entire life was passed. His son, Anson L Root, grandfather of Anderson, was also a native of Connecticut, where he was reared, and where he married Miss Sally Brooks , also a native of that State. They remained in New England until the birth of their son, Charles T. , father of our subject, then emigrated to Trumbull County, Ohio, during the earliest settlement of the Buckeye State. There Grandfather Root battled successfully with the elements of the soil, and from the wilderness built up a good homestead, where he spent his last days. The grandmother later removed to Michigan, and spent the remainder of her life with her son, Nelson, in Berrien County, where her death took place December 16, 1857.
The father of the subject of this sketch was born in Connecticut, and went with his parents when they removed to Ohio. He stayed in that State but three years, however, and then removed to Newaygo County, Michigan, where he made his home until 1870, when he resolved to try his fortune in the new State of Nebraska, and come to Cass County.
He has been twice married, his first wife being Miss Sarah A. Laughlin, mother of our subject, who died in 1849. Mr. Root again married, but is again a widower, and is now engaged in farming in Cheyenne County, Nebraska.
The mother of our subject was a daughter of James Laughlin and his wife, whose maiden name was Rachel Matthews . The father of James and maternal great-grandfather of Anderson Root was Alexander Laughlin, a native of County Down, Ireland, where he was united in marriage with Sarah Gordon , of the same county. Prior to the War of the Revolution he emigrated to America, and settled in Western Pennsylvania, where he engaged in farming, and there reared a large family.
Tradition has it that he served in the Patriot Army for three years in the latter part of the Revolutionary War. He died June 25, 1822, at the age of fifty-nine years, and is buried in the Kinsman Cemetery, in Trumbull County, Ohio. Of the time of his wife’s death we have no record.
James Laughlin , son of Alexander, and grandfather of Anderson Root, was born in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, August 10, 1791. He became a farmer, and while yet a young man removed to Trumbull County, Ohio, where he was married to Rachel Matthews , and reared a large family. A man of unbounded enterprise and energy, he hewed out of the wilderness a good home, and acquired an ample competence for his declining years. On the breaking out of the War of 1812, imbued with the patriotic impulses of his sire, he enlisted as private in the United States Army, and served on the close of the war. Receiving an honorable discharge he returned to the pursuits of peace, died July 10, 1868, aged seventy-six years, eleven months and eighteen days. In politics Mr. Laughlin was originally a Whig, but on its formation joined the ranks of the Republican party, with which he ever after affiliated. He and his wife were both members of the Presbyterian Church.
Rachel Matthew’s, wife of James Laughlin, and grandmother of Anderson Root, was also a native of Beaver County, Pennsylvania and was a daughter of Deacon William Matthews , who was born in County Down, Ireland, and emigrated to America while a young man. With the innate love of liberty characteristic of the sturdy race from which he sprang, he entered the Continental Army, and for three years battled for the freedom of his adopted country. He fought until the close of the war, and with the return of peace and the assumed liberty of the Colonies, left the army, receiving an honorable discharge, and in the latter years of his life drew a pension. He had settled at Georgetown, near the mouth of the Little Beaver River, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, to which he returned and there he was married and reared a numerous family. In 1804 the patriot soldier decided to go farther West and removed to a farm on what was then known as the “Center Road”, in Trumbull County, Ohio, where he lived until he had attained the ripe old age of eighty-three dying in 1834, full of years and honor. For many years in Ohio he had been Justice of the Peace, an important office in that day and country. In regard to this venerable old pioneer we extract the following from “Historical Collections of the Mahoning Valley, Ohio”, published in 1876: “The name of Deacon Matthews should be remembered and cherished, not only by his descendants, but by all the inhabitants of the township of Kinsman, Trumbull Co., Ohio, especially all those who are interested in its moral and religious improvement. In this regard his influence was greater and entered more deeply into the structure of society than that of any other of the assemblies of worship on the Sabbath, where there were no clergymen present, as there was not except occasionally until 1813, and he always conducted the meetings. His attendance was a fixed habit, no matter what the state of the weather or roads. Whether hot or cold, wet or dry, mud or snow, he was in his place promptly at the hour of service. His venerable appearance always commanded respect, and his meek and unostentatious manner and fervency of spirit gave all who knew him confidence in the sincerity of the religion he professed.”
From such stock on both sides our subject drew those inspirations which have been his guide through life; of sterling worth, these hardy pioneers were well fitted to become the progenitors of a race embracing all those attributes which go to make up the best type of American manhood and womanhood. Prominent among their characteristics were deep religious convictions, and an unflinching loyalty and patriotism shown by them and their descendants in three wars — the Revolution, 1812, and the great Rebellion. (Civil War)
Anderson Root was born August 14, 1842, in Trumbull County, Ohio, where he pursued his first studies in the district school, and became familiar with farming as carried on in the pioneer days. His education was completed by an attendance of one term at Jamestown (Pennsylvania) Seminary. On the 7th of December, 1864, he was united in marriage with Miss Margaret L Snodgras., daughter of Robert Snodgrass and Eliza J. Thompson. William Snodgrass, the paternal grandfather of Mrs. Root, was a native of Ireland, whence he emigrated to America when a small boy. He married Miss Margaret McMaster , and about 1800 located in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, when that portion of the Keystone State bore little evidence of civilization. He built the first farmhouse in his neighborhood, at a time when his nearest market was at Meadville, a distance of twenty miles away.
Upon the Crawford County farm there was reared a family of five children, and there the grandparents looked their last upon the scenes of earth. Their son Robert was the eldest born, and spent all his life at the old homestead, dying there in November, 1887. His wife, the mother of Mrs. Root, still lives there, and has now arrived at the age of seventy-four years. They were the parents of four daughters, Margaret L. being the second born. William Thompson and Mary Latta, the maternal grandparents of Mrs. Root, were natives of Ireland, and of Scotch ancestry. Mary Latta’s parents were our ancestors William L LATTA and Elizabeth RANKIN. They came to the United States with their respected parents when mere children, and spent the remainder of their lives in Crawford County, Pennsylvania. They trace their progenitors to the Erskines, one of the best families of Scotland.
Mr. and Mrs. Root were married at the old Snodgrass homestead in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, and lived there until September, 1865. Then deciding to cast their lot with the pioneers of Nebraska Territory they came to this county and were residents of Rock Bluff Precinct seven years. Next they removed to the farm of the State Agricultural Society of Lincoln, over which Mr. Root had been appointed Superintendent, and there they lived three years. Mr. Root had in the meantime purchased 320 acres of land in Rock Bluff Precinct, to which he returned. Later he sold 100 acres of this, having now 220 acres, and is largely interested in the raising of cattle and horses.
The Root farm and its appurtenances indicates on all sides the thoroughness and skill with which the land has been cultivated, and the good management of the proprietor. A large portion of the land is necessarily devoted to pasture, and the barns and outhouses are furnished with all modern conveniences for the shelter and care of stock. The residence is in keeping with the taste and means of the proprietor.
During the late Civil War Mr. Root, in August, 1861, enlisted in the 2nd Ohio Cavalry, and journeyed with his comrades through Missouri, Kansas and the Indian Territory, under command of Gen. Blunt. In 1862 he was in the Indian expedition under Gen. Weir. He met the rebels in several hand-to-hand conflicts, but escaped wounds and capture. He was, however, injured by the accidental falling of his horse upon him while at Columbus, Ohio, recruiting his regiment both with men and horses, and was obliged to accept an honorable discharge March 11, 1863.
Mr. Root, upon coming to this section of country, was at once recognized as a valued addition to the community, and after filling many positions of trust, and otherwise indicating his ability for business and his integrity of character, was selected by the Republican party as their candidate for the State Legislature, and being elected, discharged his duties in a manner creditable to himself and satisfactory to his constituents. He has never indicated a desire for office, preferring the quiet of his farm and family. He cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln,
The History of the United Presbyterian Church, Murray, Nebraska, 1860-1960 by Margaret Spangler Todd
The Rock Bluffs United Presbyterian Church building served the people well and the congregation prospered for a time. In the spring of 1878 the members and adherents of the U.P. Church held a meeting at the home of Anderson Root for the purpose of reviving and reorganizing the congregation. [Anderson must have been named after Mr. Root]
Georgia Abbott was born 12 Dec 1884 in Easton, California. (Easton is less than 5 miles from Fowler.) Her parents were Andrew Abbott (1854 – 1928) and Adelaide Barnes (1863 – ). According to the 1920 census, her father was born in Illinois and her mother was born in California, they were married in 1883 so Andrew must have come to California as a young man. Georgia died 13 May 1968 in Fresno, Fresno, California.
In 1999, our cousin Andrea Miner Belau entered this query into the Ancestry.com message board
beginning search for ANDREW ABBOTT b. 1854, Bloomington, McClean Co. IL; his parents, MILO J. ABBOTT m. ADELINE BURT (both could have been b. New Hampshire, dates unknown. Have located federal land purchases of Milo in McClean 8/26/1852 (Arch.vol.#237,pg.95) Thank you for any help. I will gladly share info from California descendants of Andrew.
Anderson liked to write poetry and wrote “I really get more enjoyment out of writing them than anything I ever tried to do and it takes time that otherwise might drag.
Anderson’s 12 Sep 1918 draft registration card shows his occupation to be Beekeeper in Fowler, California, tall, slender build with blue eyes and light hair
In 1910, Anderson and Georgia were married and living in Township 4, Fresno.
In 1920, Anderson’s family was living in Fowler, Fresno, California. The family farm included a vineyard and bee hives. The census record was very faint and hard to read. Anderson (35), Georgia (33),  Warren (9) [George Andrew], James (7), Eleanor (5), Anderson (3), [Richard 3 6/12], Mary (0) [2 1/12]
In 1930, the family was living in Township 16, Fresno, California
In 1955, he sailed to Honolulu on the Matson ship Lurline with Georgia Miner.
Children of Anderson and Georgia:
i. George Andrew Miner b. 23 Jun 1910 in Fowler, Fresno, Calif; m. Verna Evangeline Erickson; d. 1 May 1995 in Kingsburg, Fresno, California.
Verna Evangeline Erickson was born 11 Apr 1914 in California. Verna died 30 Apr 1995 in Fresno. George and Verna had two daughters: Marilyn Miner Helsley and Andrea Miner Belau
POB, Sanger, CA, 93657 (1975)
13254 E American Ave, Sanger, CA, 93657-9557
1574 Lewis St # 1, Kingsburg, CA, 93631-1920 (1981)
Marilyn Miner married Steve Helsley
Andrea Miner Belau is the organist at the Fowler Presbyterian Church. She grew up in Sanger, where she began accompanying school choirs and Sunday school groups at age 13. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Frresno State and served congregations in Kingsburg and Selma before joining FPC’s staff in 1999. She views worship music as an important way of bringing blessing to others and honor to the Lord. Andrea teaches piano, is an active member of the American Guild of Organists, and enjoys any time with family. She and her husband , Larry — an oboist — live in Kingsburg and are the parents of three, grandparents of two.
ii. James H Miner b. 28 Oct 1912 in Fowler, Fresno, California; m. Dorothy Beese; d. 19 Jun 2005 in Fresno, Fresno, California
Dorothy Beese was born 15 Apr 1904 or 1905 in Wisconsin. Her parents, Herman Beese and Palina Graumann were both born in Wisconsin. Dorothy died 20 Feb 1990 in Fresno 93727, Fresno, Calif at the age of 84.
In 1910, she lived in Texas, Marathon, Wisconsin
In 1920, Dorethea, Doretha lived in Merrill Ward 5, Lincoln, Wisconsin
In 1975, James H Miner lived at 5438 E Belmont Ave, Fresno, CA, 93727-2613
1984 - Doc 0026167-00 03/16/1984
Grantor MINER, DORATHY B
Grantor MINER JAMES H
1991 Doc 0006502-00 01/17/1991
COURT DEC, JDGT, ORD-DEC DISTR R MINER DORATHY B DECD
Grantee – DORATHY B MINER TRUST|
Grantee – MINER JAMES H
Grantee – MINER JAMES H TR
2004 0237446-00 10/21/2004
POWER OF ATTORNEY
Grantor – MINER JAMES H
Grantee BELAU ANDRE
Grantee BELAU LARRY
Between 1935 and 1993 James lived at 1331 20th Ave, Kingsburg, CA, 93631-2014 Here’s a Street View of James’ house from Google Maps
Kingsburg is on Highway 99 halfway between Fresno and Visalia. Kingsburg was established as a railroad town, its site set by the Central Pacific Railroad when it completed the Valley Line in 1873. In the early 1870s, Swedish natives settled in a railroad town called “Kings River Switch”. In 1874 the present town site was drawn up and the name was changed to “Kingsbury”. Two years later it became “Kingsburgh” and in 1894 took on its present spelling, “Kingsburg”, which was finally established as a town in 1908. By 1921, ninety-four percent of the population within a three-mile radius of Kingsburg was Swedish-American, giving the community the nickname of “Little Sweden”. To keep up with the town’s Swedish history they have most retail businesses designed in Swedish architecture
For much of the town’s history the fields around Kingsburg were mostly grape vineyards which produce mainly raisin and table grapes; however in 2002 a large surplus of raisins and grapes drove the price for these commodities down to an all time low. Subsequently, farmers were forced to replant the fields with stone fruit, or (particularly on the west side of town) sell their land to developers to help cope with the rising population. Kingsburg is the headquarters of Sun-Maid Growers of California, a producer of raisins and other dried fruits. Kingsburg is home to the world’s largest box of raisins, built by students at California State University, Fresno.
iii. Eleanor Gertrude Miner b. 14 May 1914 in Fowler, Fresno, California; m. Arthur Nobles; d. 26 Dec 2004 in Bethel Lutheran Home, Selma, California.
Arthur Nathen Nobles was born 22 Apr 1909 in California. In 1930, he was living with his parents Lenard W C Nobles (48) and Ida N Nobles (43) in Visalia, Tulare, California. Arthur died 19 May 1996 in 93703 Fresno, Fresno, California
Eleanor Nobles passed away on Sunday, December 26, 2004, in Selma, CA. Mrs. Nobles is remembered for her fun-loving ways, elegant demeanor and gracious hospitality. Eleanor was born on May 14, 1914, in Fowler, to Anderson and Georgia Miner. In 1939, after graduating from Fresno State College, Eleanor wed Arthur Nobles of Visalia, a doctor of chiropractic. They moved to Fresno in 1967, and were active in People’s Church and other civic groups. The couple enjoyed 57 years together. Since 2001, Ms. Nobles resided at Bethel Lutheran Home in Selma.
Preceding her in death were her husband Arthur; and siblings, Mary Miner Powell, George Miner and Richard Miner.
Mrs. Nobles was survived by her brother, James Miner of Fresno; nephew, Bruce Miner; nieces, Andrea Miner Belau and Marilyn Miner Helsley. “Nornee” was dearly loved by great-nieces and great-nephews Douglas and Lauren Miner, Geoffrey, Sonja and Susan Belau, Christina, Lisa and Michael Helsley. Visitation will be held at Chapel of the Light Funeral Home on Wednesday, December 29, 2004, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. A Cryptside Service will be held at Chapel of the Light in Fresno on Thursday, December 30, 2004, at 9:30 a.m., followed by a Memorial Service at Pella Lutheran Church, 1505 Evergreen, Selma, CA 93662. The Family requests that remembrances be made to Bethel Lutheran Home, 2280 Dockery Ave., Selma 93662 or Pella Lutheran Church, 1505 Evergreen, Selma 93662.
iv. Anderson Richard Miner b. 4 Jun 1916 in Fowler, CA. He went by his middle name Richard. He was married four times, first to Jean Fulton. After their divorce, he married Elsie K. Lindegren, who had also been married before. They resided in Fresno. Upon Elsie’s death, (when he lived in Eugene OR) he married Cleona _____?; after her death, he married Indamora _______?. Richard died 23 Feb 2004 in Bellevue, King, Washington.
Richard and his first wife Jean had two sons, R. Bruce Miner and Jerald Glen Miner (9 Oct 1941 Fulton, Fresno, Calif. - 3 Nov 1996 San Francisco). Richard Bruce Miner was born 25 Sep 1935 and lives in Eureka, Calif. He and his wife Shirley have two children: Douglas Richard Miner of Silverdale WA and Lauren J. Miner. Douglas married Rhonda Lene Miner
1987 - Living at 137 Westbrook Way, Eugene, Oregon age 71?
1993 - Living in Apt 1113 at 350 Pearl Street, Eugene, Oregon age 77?
v. Mary Miner was born 8 Dec 1917 Fresno County, CA. She married Walter Milton Powell. They had no children. Mary died in April 1978. Her last residence was 90277 Redondo Beach, Los Angeles, California. Her last benefit was 93657 Sanger, Fresno, California,
Ancestry.com US Census Records