Bishop - 4
matlick women
Seated (L to R): Laura Matlick and Blanche Matlick(?)
Standing: Florence Matlick
Taken during the 1920's on the porch of what is now the Matlick House.

The Matlicks of Bishop

 All Matlick family photos and text courtesy of Carol Stephens unless otherwise noted.

See USE NOTICE on Home Page.

new 10/21
Photographs and text courtesy of Michael Millett
So this is my Grandmother, Bessie Corkill Moore, about to turn 21 years of age on December 25th, 1910, on board ship final destination the Owens Valley. After processing through Ellis Island she boards a train that will eventually drop her off in Havilah, Kern County. Walter will meet her there and they will marry and head up to Bishop, California to begin their life. Granny told me the first thing she got to Bishop, Walter and the other men trained her in the use of a pistol. She shot and shot until she could shoot the cork out of a bottle without breaking the bottle. As I got older I thought all of these stories were a little silly and then as I got even older I found out every one of the stories she told me was true.
This is my Grandmother, Bessie Corkill Moore's brother, William "Bill" Corkill, he was one of the younger siblings who came to the United States with his mother, my Great-Grandmother, Bessie Ward Corkill Kneale Westover, yes, she was married three times. Uncle Bill became a stuntman and rode the horses off the cliffs in many of the old movies filmed in the hills around Lone Pine and over in the Kern River Valley. When I met Bill many years later his hands and body were twisted and gnarled from all of the damage he suffered.
My Burros Brought Me Life
by Adelaide Wilson Arnold

From the CALICO PRINT, September 1953 issue, Mrs. Bessie M. Tyler writes:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Weight:
In an issue of CALICO PRINT some months ago, I recognized the picturee of an old desert prospector as Joe Ward, whom my father knew well. Joe Ward roamed the desert from canyon to canyon and had many a colorful tale to tell. Joe Ward's vocabulary and use of it was like a running stream. I was so descriptive that the scene and incident was brought vividly before the listener.

Mrs. Bessie M. Tyler
Westend, California

Good Bye Charlie
A song by Joseph Ward

These two characters are my grandmother, Bessie (Ward) Corkill Moore, uncles Joe Ward and Oscar Ward. Joe came to North America in 1878 and wandered all over the West for decades and decades, he died in the 1940's in Los Angeles. Most of the time he was in some part of the Owens Valley, Death Valley (he was a friend to Scotty) or the greater Mojave Dessert. Joe wrote poetry and a nonsensical travel journal also grounded in hard fact, his writing was sent back to the Isle of Man and published in the island's newspaper.

The previous photo was of Joe Ward along with one of his brothers, Oscar Ward, and some burros, of course. Joe and Oscar were both brothers to my Great-Grandmother, Bessie Ward Corkill Kneale Westover. As I mentioned before, Joe came to North America in 1878 after running away from home in the Isle of Man at the age of 17. This is about the same time as the Battle of the Little Bighorn and Uncle Joe wandered his way down from Canada, it was too cold, to Nebraska, he didn't think the soil was good, out to California. He liked to read and traveled with bags of books on various subjects and discovered he was pretty good at Geology. I have copies of some of his mining claims. Joe was uncle to the cowboy with the ten gallon hat, Bill Corkill, and my Grandmother, Bessie Corkill Moore. I have printed out clippings from the 1920's that I got on-line from a Manx database of old newspapers, for some reason when they print they are filled with errors! There were a series of stories about his travels, not all of them about the Owens Valley. I'm going to share a little - "We camped at Eagle Borax Works on the west, leaving the jacks. Walking six miles north across one mile of borax, in which we sank several inches, then one mile of mud, ankle deep, and but for a layer of rock salt underneath we'd have gone out of sight. Then followed two miles or so of rough reddish salt pinnacles two feet high, which proved very difficult going, beyond which was a uniform hat of glistening salt suftace, wet in place. We surveyed 34 miles square, and built monuments out of cakes of salt one or two inches thick and two or more feet long. It never proved good. I learned that the Government and Borax Smith later bored, but only got one per cent potash. I wanted my friend, Brockington, to go to Little Lake,and see if there was any potash there? I think Little Lake was originally lower than Death Valley before the floor or bottom dropped and was uplifted by tertiary volcanics." His narrative goes on with an extensive list of volcanic activity in California, Arizona and Mexico.
Joe Ward
joe ward

joseph ward

My grandfather, who came to the United States, from the Isle of Man in1910, and along with a group of Manx settled from the Kern River Valley up through Bishop and some up in Fallon, NV. His older brother came earlier and died of heat stroke in Blythe, CA. They were two of a about a dozen siblings who survived past infancy.

To my knowledge these are NOT my family, but the photo was in an album my Grandmother created for me over 60 years ago. Anyone recognize anyone? Does anyone recognize the location? I'm pretty sure this is off the 395 around the time autos were starting to make the drive.

I have this same postcard with over 10 different captions claiming many locations in the desert and eastern Sierra. Based on these postcard, its location is unknown. The postcard publisher Burton Frasher did this quite often to sell postcards in many different markets. It may be Walker Pass but these postcards don't prove anything. (Rich McCutchan)

I thought you might enjoy this photo of my Grandfather, Walter Moore's brother Albert, William (Bill) Kissack, and James Kerruish, four young Manx men with endless opportunity in front of them in this enormous country.

My Grandmother put together an album for me when I was about 5 years old. Over the years and many moves the album became "lost." It was actually under a collection of WWII memorabilia that was my Father's from his tour of the Pacific, and I found them about a year ago. Here's a photo of Walter (Pop), Bessie (Granny), and from left to right: Mildred (a cousin who lost her Mother to the Kern River), Vera (my Mother), Laurene and Rosaleen.

michael millett
This is a photograph of my Grandmother with my aunt Rosie in the yard and a reference to a ranch that belonged to a George W., must have been George Watterson, he is mentioned in the article.  Over the years my Grandparents worked on a number of ranches including the Jack Ranch and a number of the Rudnick Family ranches.  They were always trying to get a start and then something would happen: hoof and mouth disease, the LA DWP and the depression to mention a few.  Walter Moore, my Grandfather, had a number of health issues and died in his mid-fifties.

Heather found some sheet music that my Uncle Joe wrote, the cover reflects his sense of humor.  I recognize the Teare name in the dedication of the song, but I'm not sure if any of them made it to the Owens Valley?
new 01/22
joe ward

Joe Ward
(Photo courtesy Bob Didier)


Al Matlick & Family

matlick family
Top row (L to R): Alvin Matlick, Mabel Matlick-Rowan, Charles Matlick, Lenna Matlick, Ed Matlick, Ella Briscoe-Matlick,
Art Matlick, LaVerne Rowan, Harry Matlick and Lucille Matlick,

Middle row (L to ): Tillie Clausen-Couch, Fanny Matlick, Allen Matlick, Minnie Clausen-Matlick, Jennie Clausen-Matlick and unknown

Bottom row (L to R): Grace Matlick-Wofford, Dorothy Matlick, Charles Matlick and Helen Matlick.

Earl Matlick History
by Carol Stephens
Roscoe Earl Matlick (b.7-16-1884 in Williamstown, Clark Co., MO-d.3-1986 in San Diego, San Diego Co., CA) married Lillian Mattson. No children.

Earl had to quit school at an early age to help his father on the farm. He was finally able to complete his high school education in Redlands, California at the age of 24. He and Lillian moved to San Diego, California because of Earl's asthma. After Lillian's death Earl continued to live on his own well into his late nineties until he was hospitalized because of internal bleeding. He couldn't see nor hear very well, but his mind stayed sharp. He celebrated his100th birthday with family and friends in 1984 in San Diego, California, where he resided until his death at the age of 102.

leroy & mary
This is a photo of Leroy Matlick and his first child, Mary Laura Matlick, was taken in 1919. It was taken on the farm of Leroy's father, Samuel Matlick, brother of Allen Matlick. Samuel Matlick moved his family from Missouri to Bishop in 1908.

earl matlick
Earl Matlick in front of the candy display - 1916?

In 1915 Leroy and his brother, Earl, worked in a tobacco/candy shop in Bishop, California. Probably owned by George Neal, it was located in the Jack Black building on the corner of N. Main and Line Street. He did work as a traveling salesman for the shop.

leroy matlick
Leroy Matlick in front of cigar display - 1916?

Leroy Matlick History
by Carol Stephens

Leroy (no middle name) Matlick (b.1891 in Williamstown, Clark Co., MO-d.1972 in San Diego, CA)
married Myrtle Thomas (b.1-27-1890-92 in Grand Haven, MI-d.?-?-1985? in Lancaster, Los Angeles Co., CA)
in Bishop, California on Labor Day weekend, September 1916.

Leroy was the last child born to Buddy and Laura. When he had finished the 8th grade, his father said a farmer didn't need any more schooling than that, so he had to quit school to work on the farm. He came to California in 1907 or 1908 with his brother Earl. He was 17 years old when he returned to school in Redlands, California to get a diploma. The schools were not as structured then as they are today and it was not unusual to see a boy his age starting high school.

In 1915 Leroy and his brother, Earl, worked in a tobacco/candy shop in Bishop, California. Probably owned by George Neal, it was located in the Jack Black building on the corner of N. Main and Line Street.
He did work as a traveling salesman for the shop. He met Myrtle in Bishop, California in August 1916. She was working during the summer at a local hotel, probably the Clark Hotel, located on the west side of N. Main Street. Built in 1887, the hotel had a dining room and an ice cream parlor.

They married Labor Day weekend, 1916, in Independence, California a short two weeks after they met. Leroy chose this weekend because the store would be closed Monday so they could get married and get back without losing any time from work. The honeymoon, too, was short in many ways.
Myrtle had been trained as a fine artist from the time she could hold a pencil. Her new husband informed her on the way home that Monday that he did not want her to continue painting. There was no money in it and besides, she wouldn't have time with all the work she would have to do. It was a real blow to Myrtle who had always planned on being an artist. She excelled in every medium she tried. She was once commissioned by Shirley Temple's father to paint a miniature portrait of his famous daughter, but Myrtle never got to meet the young actress, having to work entirely from photographs. She also did drafting during World War II to earn a paycheck. Later in life, miniature watercolor portraits became her medium.

After several unhappy years for Myrtle, and a trip a doctor who convinced Leroy to let her paint, she was finally able to again her pursue her life's passion.

Always concerned with appearances, she scolded her children for what she considered to be unacceptable behavior by saying "it simply isn't being done by our better people." In spite of this, in later years, she was proud of the fact that she had been rough and tough enough to work in "a man's world."

Leroy worked for Dunn and Bradstreet in the 1930's and 1940's reviewing loans for small businessmen.
His real love, though, was writing. He had many short stories published in the local paper in Hemet, California, where he lived and in other periodicals. He often wrote about his life on the farm and about the desert. He had many wonderful characters in his desert stories and they are cherished by his children and grandchildren.

Leroy and Myrtle were a terrible mismatch and divorced in 1945.
Leroy remarried in 1947 to Edith Elliott. Edith had 4 grown children.
She died about 1970. Edith and Leroy had no children.

janet & mary
Janet Matlick and Mary Matlick on their Grandfather's (Samuel Matlick) farm, 1923.

janet & mary matlick
This photo was taken in 1923 on the porch of Samuel Matlick's farm. The two girls are (L to R) my mother, Janet Matlick Stephens, age 3, and her sister, Mary Matlick Bowen, age 5. They are posing for a portrait done in oil by my Grandmother, Myrtle Thomas Matlick.

mary & janet
Mary Matlick, age 5, and Janet Matlick, age 3, in 1923, in the orchards that were once across the street from the Matlick House when it was still the home of Al and Minnie Matlick.

bishop p.o.
Post Office in Bishop.

myrtle matlick
This is a photo of Leroy Matlick's wife, Myrtle Thomas Matlick, and their first child, Mary Louise Matlick, taken 1919. It was taken on the farm of Leroy's father, Samuel Matlick, brother of Allen Matlick. Samuel Matlick moved his family from Missouri to Bishop in 1908. He met Myrtle in 1916 and they got married on Labor Day, after knowing each other about 2 weeks.

Myrtle Matlick Autobiography
Provided by Carol Stephens

allen & minnie matlick
Allen (Al) Matlick married Wilhemina (Minnie) Sereta Clauson
November 27, 1879, Thanksgiving Day, in Benton, California.

Allen Matlick History
by Carol Stephens

matlick house
The Matlick House in 1995

Carol Stephens writes:

I have enjoyed viewing the photos of early life of Bishop, California. My family first settled in Bishop about 1885.

My Great-great uncle was Allen Matlick who built the Matlick House. I have a photo of some relatives standing on the porch of the house.

My grandfather, Leroy Matlick, and his brother, Earl Matlick, worked in a tobacco and candy store in Bishop about 1917. I have photos of the interior of the store, a photo of the outside of the Bishop Post Office and a 2 picture panoramic view of the valley, taken by my Great Grandmother, an amateur photographer.

My Grandmother moved to Bishop and worked in the hotel in 1917 until she married my Grandfather only 2 weeks after they met.

I was reading through my family history again. The newspaper clipping regarding the Golden Wedding Anniversary of Al and Minnie Matlick, it was a 1929 article which appeared in the Inyo Independent.

Also, my Great Grandfather, Samuel Matlick, moved his family to Bishop in 1908 and bought a farm near his brother's farm. Only a small piece of the foundation remains in the middle of a field.

July 2004

Myrtle Matlick Autobiography
[Courtesy of Carol Stephens]


Family photos & text courtesy of Rob Pearce
(A. A. Brierly was Rob's grandfather and an early Bishop pioneer)
A. A. Brierly when he was 21
A. A. Brierly when he was 16

Wash Brierly and A. A. Brierly - 1901
A. A. Brierly - before 1900

1st, 2nd, amd 3rd graders at Bishop Grammar School - circa 1890
A. A. Brierly is 3rd from the left in the front row.

(Class identification)

Laws School class of 1909 - First through Eighth grades
A. A. Brierly in the back row (on the right) is the class teacher.

Rob Pearce, Leroy Cline, Mark Pearce
Branding on my grandfather's (A. A. Brierly) Ranch on Warm Springs Road

Cleo McCracken on my grandfather's ranch - 1950s - 60s
Cleo was ranch manager for my grandfather A. A. Brierly for 20 years.
The german shepard dog on his right is Poncho.

L/R: Washington "Wash" Brierly, Rachel Brierly, A. A. Brierly, Emily Brierly - 1898 on their way to Yosemite from Bishop.
Critters are L/R: Coalie, Betty, Anderson, Jack (mule), Dixie (dog in Rachel's lap)

A. A. Brierly on his horse "Blue" in Long Valley - 1949

A. A. Brierly on his ranch off of Warm Springs Road - circa 1950

A. A. Brierly mowing hay on his ranch off of Warm Springs Road - circa 1950
The horses are Fallon (a stallion) and Mae (a 2,100 pound Percheron Mare)

A. A. Brierly in his early 90's

A. A. Brierly

L/R: Mark Pearce's head, Richie Conway, Leroy Cline, Dad Pearce - 1960s
Branding on my grandfather's (A. A. Brierly) Ranch on Warm Springs Road

a a brierly


Photocards courtesy of Rich McCutchan

long valley ranch
Long Valley cattle ranch - Bishop, CA


Photographs courtesy Loyola Marymount University, William H. Hannon Library,
J. D. Black Collection

bishop residents
Group of motorcyclists, along with a bicyclist, in Owens Valley - circa 1912
Motorcycles are Excelsiors withv-shaped cylinders

bishop taxi
The "FIRST" Bishop taxi.
The driver may be "Baldy Tarrington" a friend of John Black. The auto is probably a 1908 Maxwell Model HC made by the Maxwell-Briscoe Company.

owens valley residents
L/R: Floyd Williger, J. D. Black
Son of John Black, J. D. Black (1893-1960), also known as Jack Black, was a resident of both Big Pine and Bishop. He operated stores in both towns.
He was a leader in the fight of Big Pine for reparations from the city of Los Angeles during the Owens Valley Water Controversy of the 1920s.
His wife was Sophie Louise (Staudinger) Black (1895-1989)

jack black
Portrait of young J. D. Black in the lap of Johnny McKay
with their family dog - circa 1895

jack black

J. D. Black with his baseball teammates - circa 1905
Jack is holding the catcher's mitt, baseball bat, and baseball

john black

John Black (1865-1923)- circa 1885
John was an immigrant from French Canada who worked in the mines of Virginia City in the late 1870s-1880s. There he met and married Rose Carroll. The couple made their home in Bodie and in 1886 moved to Bishop. He operated a saloon in Bishop in 1888. In 1902 he moved his family to Big Pine where he operated another saloon. John and Rose were parents of: Rosalind Black and J. D. Black.

john black

L/R: Al Lynn, John Black - circa 1920-1926

john black family
John Black family - circa 1905
L/R: John Black, Rosalind Black, Rose Black, J. D. Black (1893-1960)
John had mining interests in Chrysopolis and Mono County, ran a saloon in Bishop (he bought Jack Barton's Saloon) and Big Pine. Rosalind Black operated a clothing store in Big Pine called the "Style Shop." Rosalind married Delber Shaw (1887-1972) who worked in the Watterson Brother's bank in Big Pine. Rosalind died in 1969 in Lakewood, CA.

john black's first business
John Black's first business in Bishop, CA. Caption of photo reads: "Where John Black started business Blacks" August 18, 1888."
Person to the left of the tree on the right may be John Black.

john black
J. D. Black and Yetta Foorman - 190P
Yetta married Selby Mohr
Yetta's brothers (Mose H. Foorman and David Foorman operated the
Pioneer Market in Bishop.

john black saloon
John Black's saloon - circa 1894-1898
Standing (L/R): John Black, bartender, John MacKay, Bert Merithew, John Mallory, Louise Munzinger, Bart McGee
Seated (L/R): Billie Birchim, J. D. Black (in lap of Billie Birchim), Jim McBride (with moustache), John Clarke (with white beard), Little Green (the barber)

ov resident
L/R: Huston Cline and Ralph Saiz - 1906

rose black
Rose Black - circa 1885

john black
L/R: John Black and W. W. Booth - circa 1920
W.W. Booth was editor of the Tonopah Daily Bonanza

j d black
2 year old J. D. Black - 1895

Two young miners
center school
Abandoned Center School house and toppled outhouse

owens valley residents
Owens Valley Residents
L/R (top row): Bert Ober, "Miller," George Mitchell
L/R (bottom row): Frank Epperly, Ramon Machado
j a farrington farm sale
Handwritten letter addressed to William Hines with the sale price of water shares and ranch owned by J. A. Farrington, a stockholder of Big Pine Canal Company and Owens River Canal Company
farrington map
J. A. Farrington farm
(Map courtesy of Hal Eaton)

j a farrington
J. A. Farrington farm sale
(Article courtesy of Hal Eaton)

big pine

Aerial view of the Big Pine area - Tinemaha Reservoir and the Los Angeles aqueduct intake of the Owens River


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This page was last updated on 07 November 2021