Biography of Howard E. Odale
Kings County, CA Biographies





HOWARD E. ODALE.
No better eulogium can be pronounced upon a community or upon its individual members than to point to the work they have accomplished. Theories look fine on the printed page, but in the end it is the effort in the various lines of activity which show definite results. This is essentially a utilitarian age and the man of action is very much in evidence. Among those who are promoting and conserving the best natural resources of Kings county must be included Howard E. Odale, the engineer, superintendent and manager of the Lemoore Canal & Irrigation Company. He was born in Decatur, Illinois, on the 27th day of December, 1878, and there was reared and educated. In 1898 he came to California and went to work in the oil fields at Coalinga, where he remained for three years. He then came to Lemoore and was employed at various occupations until 1909, when he was employed as ditch tender for the irrigation company. Some time later he was made superintendent for the Empire Water Company, and from 1914 to 1920 was associated with various ditch company's irrigation projects on Kings river. In 1920 he was appointed to his present position, where he has proven himself eminently fitted for the responsible duties which devolve upon him. Mr. Odale is a licensed surveyor and in 1918 was appointed city engineer of Lemoore. He has bought a nice ranch of fifteen acres, just outside the city limits, where he makes his home. The acreage is orchard and vineyard. He is a member of the Woodmen of the World.

Mr. Odale was married on September 3, 1902, to Miss Henrietta Green, a native of Oregon, and to them have been born four children, namely; Thomas G., aged twenty years; Angus E., seventeen years old, who is in the United States navy and is now on the battleship Mississippi, of the Pacific fleet; Marion Francis, aged fourteen years; and Delos, aged ten years. Mr. Odale's career has been marked by persistent industry, sound judgment and wise discrimination and though quiet arid unassuming, he nevertheless has made a most excellent impression upon the community in which he lives.

A brief outline of the Lemoore Canal & Irrigation Company's plant and operations will undoubtedly be of particular interest to the readers of this work. This was originally called the Lower Kings River Water Ditch Company, which was organized in 1870 and incorporated under the laws of the state of California in 1873. Prior to incorporation fifty two shares of stock had been issued, but after incorporation the number of shares was increased to one hundred, the par value of which was three hundred dollars a share. From 1873 to 1901 this company furnished water not only to its stockholders, but also to others within accessible distance, the area irrigated extending from Green Slough, on the north, to the Empire and Jacobs ranches on the south. The west area, including the Heinlen ranch, was under thorough irrigation, but only a part of the above area was covered. From 1870 to 1881 four head gates had been constructed at the intake of the canal. In 1875 the company was granted a franchise for the construction of a brush dam in Kings river, below the intake of the canal. In 1901 and 1902 the location of the intake of the Lower Kings River Water Ditch Company was changed from section 1, township 18, range 20, to section 29, township 17, range 21, its present location, and a new canal was built from that point to section 13, township 18, range 20, where it converged with the old canal. In 1902 the name of the company was changed to the Lemoore Canal & Irrigation Company. The new canal was constructed on a uniform grade, with a bottom width of forty feet.

The area served by the Lemoore Canal & Irrigation Company includes fifty two thousand, three hundred acres, taking in the Heinlen, Jacobs and Empire ranches and fifteen sections of independent holdings. In the system under the company's control there are one hundred and twenty five miles of canals and laterals. A new weir in Kings river has recently been constructed, at a cost of thirty thousand dollars. Under irrigation there are twenty four thousand, seven hundred eighty acres of alfalfa, six thousand, one hundred and sixty five acres of orchard; seven thousand, eight hundred and eighty five acres of grain; and thirteen thousand, four hundred and seventy acres of pasture. The average size of the farms served is fifty eight acres. The population of the district, outside of the town, is three thousand, five hundred and nine. The population of Stratford is three hundred. There are nine hundred and twenty families on the farms. The assessed valuation is two and one quarter millions of dollars, while Stratford's valuation is thirty seven thousand dollars. The value of farm lands is five million, six hundred and fifty thousand dollars, plus that of Stratford, which is one hundred thousand dollars.

From:
History of Tulare County, California
By: Kathleen Edwards Small
and
Kings County, California
By: J. Larry Smith
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1926


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