BACK:Fred T. Grable discovers L.A.


June 21, 2007|By JERRY PERSON

I had a nice surprise recently in the mail from Frederik Bos of Victorville, a former resident of Huntington Beach.

Enclosed with a letter on how much he enjoyed reading about our city's history was a postcard of Huntington Beach dated Sept. 26, 1905.

Thank you so much for this piece of early Huntington Beach history. I will treasure it always.

This week we are going to look at a former member of our City Council who served from 1940 to 1948.


In his campaign of 1944 he said of himself "It is for the best interests of our city, to keep on the job a man who has proven his ability."

He went on to state "You make no mistake when you vote for Fred T. Grable on Election Day Tuesday, April 11th. You have an opportunity to show your appreciation of an efficient servant by going to the polls and voting to Re-Elect Fred T. Grable City Councilman."

Fred Grable was born in the small town of Volcano in West Virginia where his father Samuel drilled one of the first commercial oil wells in that state.

When Fred was 8 years old his parents moved to a farm near Williamstown, where Fred received his formal education.

When Fred graduated at age 16 he followed in his father's footsteps as an oilman and got a job with the Mariet Oil & Gas Co.

The first day on the job the outside temperature was 30 degrees below zero.

When Fred turned 20 he left West Virginia to settle in Chelsea, Okla. when it was still Indian territory.

With the help of two friends, Fred gained employment with Cherokee and helped drill in one of the first oil fields on the Indian reservation. He remained there for the next 18 months before heading for Martinsville, Ill., and six months of employment.

In June 1908 with his father, brother and two friends, Fred arrived in Los Angeles. He got his first view of the Pacific Ocean in the small resort town of Santa Monica.

Lying between Santa Monica and Los Angeles at the time was the Salt Lake oil field. Within a week Fred obtained a job there for himself, his father, brother and his two friends. This oil field was close to their residence and an easy trip to work.

A year passed and the family decided to move up to the recently discovered oil field in Coalinga. Fred and family returned in six months to the Salt Lake field to work.

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