Biography of Fred E. Huffaker
Tulare County, CA Biographies





Fred E. Huffaker, dealer in stationery and confectionery at No. 113 West Main street, Visalia, California, is a native of that city, born March 3, 1877, and all his life he has been a resident of Tulare county. His father, Jacob V. Huffaker, was born in the state of Illinois, but while still in his early childhood his parents removed to Texas. In the early '50s, when he was about thirteen years old, the family came to California and settled in Tulare county. Before he reached his majority he "rode the range" as a cowboy. At that time Tulare county was almost uninhabited except by Indians, wild animals were plentiful in the mountains and on the plains, and the site of Visalia was only a part of a vast wilderness.

Jacob V. Huffaker was one of the pioneers of Visalia and established the first livery stable in the town. At first his equipment consisted mainly of buckboards, drawn by Indian ponies. As the population increased and business improved, he introduced better horses and more comfortable vehicles. Later he was superintendent of streets and all his life was an active citizen. He married Palestine Downing, a native of Missouri, who is still living. Their children were: William, who for some time conducted his father's livery stable and is now living in Coalingo; Mrs. Elsie Dollner of Visalia; Fred E., the subject of this sketch; J. E. Huffaker; Arthur, of Richmond, California; and Harold, at home. These children were all born in Visalia and all are married except Harold. Palestine Downing crossed the plains with her parenth when she was only three years of age. They settled in the Squaw valley, in Fresno county, where her father was engaged in farming and served several years as postmaster.

Fred E. Huffaker first school was the old frame schoolhouse in Visalia, which occupied the site where the Tipton Lindsay school now stands. He was a member of the graduating class of 1898 in the Visalia high school and was afterward associated with his father in the management of the livery stable. In 1900 he found employment as clerk in a grocery store. In 1904 he started in business with Austin Foucht as a partner, his part of the capital being only fifty dollars. They had a small cigar and candy store, which by industry and close attention to business, they soon placed on a paying basis. Two years later Mr. Huffaker purchased his partner's interest and since then has been the sole owner and proprietor. Under his control, by studying the demands of the trade and adding to his stock from time to time to meet such demands, he has made Huffaker's Stationery Store one of the leading concerns of its kind in Visalia. Mr. Huffaker owns valuable business property in Richmond, California.

Mr. Huffaker's father was a prominent member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which doubtless influenced him to become a member himself. He also belongs to Visalia Lodge No. 128, F. & A. M.; Visalia Lodge No. 1298, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks; the Woodmen of the World, and the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and is a republican in politics.

Mr. Huffaker married Miss Ethel Parr, who was born in Tulare, California, and is a daughter of one of that town's early settlers. To this union has been born one son, Fred E., Jr., now a student in the Visalia high school.

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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