Joseph S. Hale, prominent in community affairs and well know because of his active connection with agricultural and horticultural interests, has in his business career manifested the traits of character which lead to success. He is a man of enterprise and energy, strictly fair and just in his dealings with his fellow men, and by reason of his carefully directed efforts has won for himself a place among the substantial citizens of San Joaquin county. His farm is situated on Roberts Island, bordering the San Joaquin river.

Mr. Hale is a native son of California, his birth having occurred in Stockton on the 30th of September, 1862. He is a representative of one of the old and honored pioneer families, his parents being Joseph and Elizabeth D. (Poole) Hale, both of whom were natives of Massachusetts. The father on leaving New England came to California in 1849 by way of Cape Horn. The year previous gold had been discovered on the Pacific coast, and, hoping that he might readily acquire a fortune in this state, he made his way to the far west and for a short time engaged in farming. In the early '50s he turned his attention to the produce business in Stockton, which was then a mere hamlet composed mostly of tents. He was one of the pioneer representatives of that trade in the embryo city, and for many years engaged in that line of business, following it continuously until the early '70s when he resumed agricultural pursuits on the farm on Roberts Island now owned and occupied by Joseph S. Hale. He likewise planted an orchard consisting of pear, peach and apricot trees, and from that time until his death his energies were devoted to the cultivation of the soil and to horticultural pursuits. He demonstrated the possibilities of this section of California as a fruit-producing center, and his efforts were crowned with a very desirable measure of success. He made his home continuously in Stockton from the early '50s and he resided in one house for over forty years. There his death occurred April 3, 1898, and the community lost thereby one of its valued citizens and most honored pioneers. He had throughout the period of his residence here been deeply interested in California's progress and upbuilding, had been a witness of the wonderful transformation wrought and had taken an active part in promoting improvement along many lines. In his relations with his fellow men he was ever straightforward and honorable, and thus commanded in high degree the respect and confidence of those with whom he was associated. He had served as a member of the city council of Stockton and was the champion of every measure which he believed would contribute to the general good. His political allegiance was given to the Republican party, yet he did not consider himself bound by party ties and cast his ballot independently if he desired to do so. He was a man ever fearless in defense of his honest convictions and made no compromise in any way. Fraternally he was connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Stockton, also with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and was a member of the San Joaquin Society of California Pioneers. When thirteen years of age he had left his parental home, and from that time was dependent upon his own resources. Viewed from a financial standpoint his life was also a success, and demonstrated the possibilities for accomplishment which are open to those who have energy and determination. His widow still survives him and is now living in Stockton in the seventy-second year of her age. She is one of the honored pioneer women of San Joaquin county, having come to this portion of the state about 1857.

Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hale, three are yet living: Joseph S.; Grace F., who is the wife of Dr. W. L. Buckley, a physician of Milton, California; and Elizabeth W., the wife of Robert Inglis, of Stockton, California.

Joseph S. Hale was reared in Stockton and is indebted to its public school system for the educational advantages he enjoyed. he pursued his studies until he had mastered the branches taught in the grammar course and then became a high school student. For a number of years he was employed at intervals as purser on several different steamboats plying between Stockton and San Francisco, and for three years served as deputy assessor of San Joaquin county under O. F. Atwood, of Stockton, California, who was then filling the position of assessor. For a number of years he has also been interested in agricultural and fruit-raising interests, and is now the owner of the farm which formerly belong to his father. His landed possessions at the time of this writing comprise one hundred and eighty acres and the soil is rich and productive. The farm is devoted to the raising of grain and fruits and he annually harvests good crops of both. His sales are extensive and his business profitable, for in his work he manifests untiring energy, keen discernment and capable management.

On the 25th of March, 1892, was celebrated the marriage of Joseph s. Hale and Miss Mary E. Higgins, of Stockton, California. She ws born in Minnesota and is a daughter of James Higgins, now of Berkeley, California. By this marriage there are two children: Joseph and Geraldine M. The family occupy an enviable position in social circles, and both Mr. and Mrs. Hale are widely known and have the warm regard of many friends. Fraternally he is connected with Centennial Lodge No. 38, K. of P., of Stockton, is also a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West, being affiliated with the parlor at Stockton, and is a member of the San Joaquin Republican party. Having spent his entire life in San Joaquin county, his history is well known to its citizens, and the fact that many who have known him from his boyhood days are numbered among his stanchest friends is an indication that his has been an honorable and useful career.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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