Biography of Ames E. Hughes
Fresno County, CA Biographies





AMES E. HUGHES, one of the prominent and successful vineyardists in the Malaga tract, four miles south of Fresno. was born in San Joaquin County, California, in 1855. His father, Thomas E. Hughes, is prominently known throughout the valley.

James E. was educated at Knight's Ferry, Stanislaus County, and subsequently, as a member of the firm of Thomas E. Hughes & Sons, was interested in the stock business.. In 1878 he came to Fresno County and with his brother, W. M. Hughes, took charge of their large sheep interests, renting vast ranges and herding 15,000 sheep. In 1882 the firm discontinued sheep raising and engaged in the real-estate business. They bought and placed upon the market the Fresno colony tract of 5,200 acres, and James E. went to San Francisco and opened an office to better conduct the sale of the lands. In 1883 he returned to Fresno and planted an orchard of ninety acres of various fruits. Owing, however, to the dry weather and the grasshopper plague of that period, his trees and vines were entirely devoured. Even the sacks which were wrapped around the trees for protection, were eaten.

In 1886 Mr. Hughes went to Tulare and associated himself with the real estate firm of Hughes & Brawley. They ran excursions from Los Angeles and started the boom in real estate of that period. Mr. Hughes organized the Emigration Association of Tulare County, of which he is still president. In 1887 he purchased a tract of 720 acres, including Highland Springs, Lake County, which was fitted up with extensive hotel accommodations as a sanitarium; but, after running the hotel two years, the enterprise seemed a failure, and with a heavy loss he traded the property with George A. Noble for Fresno County property. Included in the trade was the eighty acre ranch upon which he now resides. This property was highly improved in vines and trees, handsome and commodious house and fine outbuildings. The White Adriatic fig orchard of fourteen acres is the largest individual orchard in the State. Mr. Hughes also has twenty acres in white nectarines, ten acres in peaches and thirty acres in vines. In 1890 the fruits of his ranch sold for $8,300, the purchaser to pick and cure the fruit. Mr. Hughes is fitting the ranch with every convenience, dryers, packing house, etc., to properly handle and care for the fruit.

The subject of our sketch was married, in 1882, to Miss Ida A. Jenkens, a step daughter of E. C. Ferguson, one of the early stockmen of the valley. He and his wife are the parents of two children Edwin Earle and Carrie Louise.

Mr. Hughes is a member of Fresno Lodge, No. 186, I. 0. 0. F., and Fresno Lodge, No. 247, F. & A. M.

From:
Memorial and Biographical History
of the counties of
Fresno, Tulare and Kern,
California
The Lewis Publishing Company
Chicago 1891


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