Biography of J. C. McCollum
Merced County, CA Biographies





J. C. McCOLLUM
On the list of Merced County's viticulturists appears the name of J. C. McCollum who, since January, 1911, has been a resident and property owner near Snelling. His property embraces twenty five acres of highly developed vineyard one mile north of Snelling, and here he has pioneerd and prospered. He began operations on his ranch by raising alfalfa and hogs, and has gradually set it to fruit, including Thompson seedless grapes and a small orchard of almonds. He is the pioneer in the use of modern methods in this vicinity, and many another rancher has followed successfully in his footsteps.

J. C. McCollum was born near Lynnville, Jasper County, Iowa, on April 27, 1874, the fifth in order of birth of six children, of whom five reside in California, and one in Seattle. His parents were Isaac and Louisa (Ballinger) McCollum, both born in North Carolina. The father came West to Iowa in 1850 and took up government land, which is the present townsite of Stewart. The family moved to California in 1883, locating in Los Angeles, then a city of 8000 inhabitants; soon after they removed to Pasadena, where Mr. McCollum purchased an acreage in the vicinity of Hill and Allen Avenues, the present site of the Pasadena High School buildings. J. C. McCollum attended Throop Polytechnic for two terms and the Pasadena High School. Then he located at the corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Colorado Street, now the heart of the business section of that city. He learned the machinist trade, working at the bench at the Pacific Brass Works in Los Angeles for four years, and went out as a journeyman, following his trade for fifteen years. In the meantime he had invested his savings in town lots in Los Angeles, some of which he still owns, and they are now very valuable.

At Pasadena Mr. McCollum was married to Miss Mettie King, who was born in Kansas, the daughter of Jerome and Olive King, of Glendora, Cal. The King family came to California from Kansas in 1888. Mr. and Mrs. McCollum have two children. Walter is a machinist, and the night foreman at the Yosemite Mills in Merced Falls. He served during the World War with the Port Guard in San Francisco harbor; he is married and has two children. Irene McCollum married Leslie Halstad, of Snelling, in 1923. Mr. McCollum is a member and Past Grand of Snelling Lodge No. 325, I. O. O. F. at Snelling. He is a liberal Republican and supports any movement for progressive civic development. He came to the Merced River district with the belief that here is offered much more for the working dollar than in most new districts of diversified farming in California, and has never altered his opinion of this garden spot. He is a real booster and works in cooperation and harmony with the Merced County Farm Bureau, as well as the California State Agricultural Extension Bureau. While he has put in two seasons at the bench in the Yosemite Mills, he is an ardent lover of the outdoors, and accordingly spends much time at home on his well cared for ranch, which is a portion of the old Grimes Estate.

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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