CHARLES A. LINDLEY.
Charles A. Lindley, horticultural inspector for the Visalia district of Tulare county, California, was born in
Purcell, Oklahoma, May 1, 1891. His father, L. M. Lindley, had come to Oklahoma from Texas some years before and
homesteaded a tract of land near Purcell. In 1906 he disposed of this land and removed with his family to Selma,
Fresno county, California, where he engaged in farming. He is now a grape grower in the Porterville district of
Charles A. Lindley was educated in the public schools of his native town. Upon coming to California in 1906 he
found employment as an orange grader in the fruit packing houses of Orange county, where he remained for about
five years. When the United States entered the great World war, in the spring of 1917, he was mustered into the
military service as a corporal in the Three Hundred and Sixty fourth Infantry, which regiment formed a part of
the Ninety first (Wild West) Division. Corporal Lindley accompanied his command to France and took part in all
the battles in which the "Fighting Ninety first" was engaged.
At the close of the war he received an honorable discharge, returned to his home in California and was for a time
associated with his father on the latter's ranch near Porterville. On January 1, 1920, he was appointed to his
present position of horticultural inspector. His work as inspector has been characterized by an ability and alertness
rarely excelled in a public official. As an example of these qualities, in November, 1924, a box containing fifty
eight specimens of the products of a large plantation in Alabama was sent by mail to a friend in Visalia. There
was nothing in the appearance of the box to indicate its contents and the Visalian to whom it was addressed knew
nothing about it until notified by the postoffice authorities. A clerk in the post office also notified Mr. Lindley,
who was present when the box was delivered to the consignee and insisted upon an examination. Among the articles
were some half a dozen noxious weeds unknown in California and a stalk of cotton on which most of the bolls had
been eaten away by live boll weevils, five of which were found still alive and active. Mr Lindley recalled that
in 1887 only a few boll weevils found their way into Texas, yet these few multiplied and spread over the entire
south, almost ruining the cotton industry in those states. The same thing would doubtless have occurred to the
cotton growers of California had it not been for the promptness of Mr. Lindley in ordering the destruction of the
pests, as well as of the noxious weeds.
Mr. Lindley's action in this matter unquestionably saved the planters of the San Joaquin valley millions of dollars,
for if those weevils had been turned loose it could have been only a question of a few years until the California
cotton growers would have suffered the fate of their southern brethren. And just how much benefit he conferred
upon the ranchmen of the valley by ordering the destruction of the noxious weeds can only be conjectured. Mr. Lindley
and the post office clerk were highly commended by the horticultural commissioner and by the newspapers of Visalia.
Such an official is worth to the community many times the amount paid him in salary.
Mr. Lindley married Miss Jessie B. Fruend, a native of Kansas, and resides in Visalia, at No. 1002 West Kaweah
street. Mr. Lindley is a member of Visalia Post No. 18 of the American Legion, in which he assists in keeping alive
the recollections of his military service overseas and enjoys meeting with his former comrades in arms.
History of Tulare County, California
By: Kathleen Edwards Small
Kings County, California
By: J. Larry Smith
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
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