Biography of Hippolyte P. Escallier
Merced County, CA Biographies





HIPPOLYTE P. ESCALLIER
Sheep growing has been a very lucrative business in California; many have made fortunes, but like everything else there are ups and downs in it, as Mr. Escallier has learned by experience. Brought up in the business from childhood, he herded sheep when he was only eight years old, in the Hautes Alps country in the south of France, where he was born April 27, 1862. Upon coming to California in 1882, he first visited with his brother, Louis, in Delano, Kern County, for a month and then was employed herding sheep until the year 1885. After sheep shearing time in the spring of 1885, Mr. Escallier and his brother, Louis, started from Delano with a band of 4000 sheep, herding them as they went along they found pasturage in Kern, Inyo, Mono, and Tuolumne Counties, and in September they sheared the second crop of wool. Coming back through Merced County they went through Los Banos when there was no town or railroad on the West Side, crossed White's Bridge in Fresno County and saved all their sheep. The sheep were the property of his brother and partner, and in the spring of 1886 our subject bought an interest in the band, continuing for three years, when he sold out, and his brother returned to France. In 1891 our subject bought another band, kept them for a time and then sold at a good profit.

In 1892, in company with Etienne Chabot, he engaged in the sheep business and they were doing very well, when on May 14, 1894, their flock was caught by a heavy snow storm on Pine Ridge and 1600 perished. That year wool sold for five cents a pound and yearling lambs brought $1.05. The next year he sold what was left to his partner and came out with only three horses and a few dollars.

After he had gone out of the sheep business for himself, Mr. Escallier went to work for wages, but it was not long until he bought a band of 200 sheep. He sold them in 1898 and again quit the business. Coming to Los Banos in August, 1899, he worked on the Woods ranch; and later he worked three winters on a sheep ranch twenty miles southwest of Los Banos during the lambing period. In 1908 he got the job of janitor at the old Los Banos Grammar School and in 1911 was made janitor of the high school, which position he still holds. He owns Los Banos real estate. Mr Escallier reared seven children. His wife, Leone L. (Atger) Escallier, died in 1916. Their children are as follows: Elsie, Henry, Aime, Felix, Louise, Blanch and Joseph. Mr. Escallier is a member of the Woodmen of the World.

From:
History of Merced County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by John Outcalt
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1925


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