Kalar Family Association

Johnson Marshall Kalar 5
and his wife
Bertha Ellen Dake

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Biographical Sketch of Johnson M. Kalar

Johnson Marshall Kalar (son of George Washington Kalar 4 and his wife Sarah Ann Elizabeth Phares)
Born: 15 Sep 1864, Kerens, Randolph County, WV.
Married: Bertha Ellen Dake, 3 Feb 1895, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, CA.
Died: 19 Aug 1937, Hanford, Kings County, CA.
Buried: San Miguel Cem., San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, CA.

Bertha Ellen Dake (daughter of John Towsend Dake and his wife Harriett Rozella Bixby)
Born: 11 Nov 1878, Umatilla, Umatilla County, OR.
Died: 28 Nov 1951, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, CA. CA
Buried: San Miguel Cem., San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, CA.

Children of Johnson M. and Bertha Dake Kalar:

     1. George Washington Kalar 6:
         b. 24 Dec 1898, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, CA;
         m. Mary Louise Wolf, 11 Jul 1921;
         d. 20 Dec 1974;
         br. ________.

     2. Carl Arnold Kalar:
         b. 6 Jun 1900, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, CA;
         m. Bessie Bryant Stover, 4 Feb 1928;
         d. 22 Mar 1987;
         br. ________.

     3. Marion A. Kalar:
         b. 20 Jun 1902, Ben Lomond, Santa Cruz County, CA;
         m. Gladys Alberta Hopper, 28 Feb 1924;
         d. 14 Feb 1988;
         br. ________.

     4. Forrester Ralph Kalar:
         b. 25 Apr 1904, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, CA;
         m. ________;
         d. 24 Sep 1904;
         br. ________.

     5. William Johnson Kalar:
         b. 16 Mar 1907, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, CA;
         m. ________;
         d. 5 May 1907;
         br. ________.

     6. Douglas Hartford Kalar:
         b. 18 Oct 1908, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, CA;
         m. (1) Nadine Washburn, Jan 1930; (2) Genevieve Watson;
         d. 17 May 1984;
         br. ________.

     7. Hiram /Butch/ Wallace Kalar:
         b. 13 Nov 1910, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, CA;
         m. Fern Kelley, 10 Aug 1931;
         d. Dec 1998;
         br. ________.

     8. John Marshall Kalar:
         b. 12 Apr 1913, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County, CA;
         m. Margaret Dovie Freeman, 8 Nov 1936;
         d. 20 Jan 1968;
         br. ________.

     9. Woodrow /Woodie/ Wilson Kalar:
         b. 1 Sep 1915, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, CA;
         m. Irma Sheldon, 1 Sep 1934;
         d. Dec 1998;
         br. ________.

     10. Herbert /Jack/ Lawrence Kalar:
         b. 29 Sep 1917, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, CA;
         m. (1) Helen Marie Butts, 3 Sep 1940, (2) Margaret Dovie Freeman Kalar;
         d. ________;
         br. ________.

     11. Lilie /Sis/ Ellen Kalar:
         b. 9 Jul 1920, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, CA;
         m. John C. Fowler, 2 Jun 1936;
         d. ________;
         br. ________.

Biographical Sketch of Johnson M. Kalar 5

     Born near Kerns, Randolph county, W. Va., September 15, 1864, Johnson M. Kalar came of a line of agricultural pioneers, among whom was his grandfather, Jacob Kalar 3, who owned a farm on the Cheat river. His father was George W. Kalar 4, who was born on Cheat river at the mouth of Pleasant run, on the site of the Battle of the Wilderness, and who died near the place where he lived. His father and his uncle had a narrow escape during the Civil War that is little less than thrilling. It happened that they were hemmed in by both Union soldiers and Confederates, and before they got beyond harm’s reach such a hail of bullets passed above and around them that the tops of trees were taken off as if they were so much grass before a mower. Johnson’s mother, who was born near Kerns, and who now makes her home in California, was Miss Sarah E. Phares before her marriage. She became the mother of ten children, of whom seven are living.

     Johnson Kalar worked industriously on a farm until he was about seventeen, meanwhile attending the public school. On July 21, 1881, he bought his time from his father, promising him that if he would let him go into the world and do for himself he would send back home each year the sum of one hundred dollars until he had reached the age of twenty-one. The father needing his services, but also having a thought for the son’s future, made no serious objection to his going, and not many months passed before young Kalar found himself at Chular, Monterey county, California, with just five cents left in his pocket. Even this balance he expended for postage to write to his mother, and having borrowed twenty-five dollars, he set out with obligations to the extent of four hundred and twenty-five dollars staring him in the face. In three weeks, however, he had earned, by very hard work on the hay press, the round sum of forty dollars, and thereafter he applied himself to one kind of work after another, driving a header or a plow, or filling sacks, but always getting somewhat ahead. He farmed for a while with his uncle, and then sold out certain interests and removed to Butte county, where he both farmed and engaged in mining.

     Somewhat successful, he came to Soledad with the intention of selling teams he had left there and returning home to his parents; but unable to dispose of them to advantage, he was forced to remain in California. Thomas Fall, who owned a well-known San Luis Obispo County ranch, sought the services of the young colonist and induced him to rent some land and strike out in agriculture for himself. The first year he lost everything, and in order to keep going was compelled to give R. M. Shackelford a crop mortgage; and from that time on he began to succeed. The first season or two he was able to pay off his obligations and to lay aside some money through his raising of grain and stock, and in 1898 he began to buy land, adding from time to time until he has seventeen hundred eleven acres in the home place east of the Salinas river and four hundred forty acres west of the state highway about a mile from San Miguel. These ranches would extend for five miles, were it not for a break of half a mile owned by another party. It was with much labor and expense that this land has been brought wider cultivation, some of it costing twenty dollars per acre to clear from brush and to break.

     Mr. Kalar has become greatly interested in horticulture, making a specialty of almond culture, and on his home ranch has set out eighty-six and one-half acres in four varieties of almonds, IXL, Texas Pacific, Nonpareil and Ne Plus Ultra. The four hundred forty acres west of the river has been subdivided into tracts ranging from six to twenty-five acres; one-fifth of the area has been set to almonds and the balance will be planted in the near future and sold to homeseekers. The whole tract lies sufficiently elevated to make it most excellent for almond raising. Over one hundred acres has been checked and sown to alfalfa, and to irrigate these lands he has laid over eleven thousand feet of cement pipe, made under his direction and from sixteen to eighteen inches in diameter. Five different sets of buildings, seven large barns and a concrete structure, 54x2Oxl3 ceiling, for a cheese factory, but now a separator room, attest to the scope of Mr. Kalar’s operations. He has sunk wells, and has installed pumps and gas, water and electrical apparatus to operate the machinery on the place. He rents out his dairy, which includes sixty to seventy cows.

     On February 3, 1895, at San Miguel, Mr. Kalar was married to Miss Bertha Dake, who was born in Oregon, a daughter of John and Harriett (Bixby) Dake, natives,, respectively. of New York and Wisconsin. They were married in the latter state, and in the pioneer days crossed the plains with ox teams and wagons to Oregon, where Mr. Dake engaged in lumbering and burning charcoal. In 1880 the family moved to San Jose, thence to Santa Cruz and later to San Miguel, where the father died. The mother passed away in Santa Rosa. Mrs. Kalar is the fourth child in a family of nine children and was reared and educated in Santa Cruz. Mr. and Mrs. Kalar have had nine children, seven of them living; George is attending Heald’s Business College at Santa Cruz; Carl is at the Paso Robles High school; Marion, Douglas, Hiram, John and Woodrow complete the family circle. In every sense of the word, Mrs. Kalar has proven a good helpmate, and a large share of the credit for what they have attained is certainly due to her. Both are members of the Methodist Church of San Miguel, of which Mr. Kalar is also a trustee. In political affairs he is an ardent Democrat.

Source: Morrison, Mrs. Annie L., and Haydon, John H. History of San Luis Obispo County and Environs, California, with Biographical Sketches of the Leading Men and Women of the County and Environs Who have been Identified with the Growth and Development of the Section from the Early Days to the Present, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California, 1917

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