Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Wells Fargo Express Note

E.H. Bercaw, Agent

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Agent-to-agent note on Wells Fargo & Co. Express letterhead, 8½x5½ inches (half page), dated October 13, 1903, from the Express and Southern Pacific station agent at Caruthers, Calif., Edward Hays "E.H." Bercaw — the older brother of Ora William Bercaw, who came to Saugus in 1906 as the Southern Pacific and Wells Fargo Express (package service) agent. Ora Bercaw, aka Ore or Orie, established the town of Surrey, which was renamed Saugus in 1915, and started a multi-generational family here.

The town of Caruthers, south of Fresno, sported an SP No. 18 combination depot — passenger and freight — from 1891-1943 (Bender 2013:112). According to SP historian John Signor*, the station was located a mile post 211 on the railroad's Kerman to Goshen Junction line via Armona and Hanford. In the note above, E.H. Bercaw is asking the unidentified agent at Mendocino for the name of a local newspaper in the area. Back of note is blank.

Records dug up by researcher Tricia Lemon Putnam show Edward Hays Bercaw (1875-1932) was born in Ohio, like his brother, and was employed as a railroad agent, like his brother, when he registered to vote in Fresno County in June 1903. By 1910, E.H. was working in Orange County as a store merchant, like his brother at Surrey/Saugus, and in 1930 he was appointed postmaster at Sepulveda, like his brother at Surrey/Saugus.

By the latter date, Ora Bercaw was back in Glendale, where he had lived on and off since 1892 (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1932).

*Personal communication via Mike Jarel, 2022.

Fresno County voter registration listing for E.H. Bercaw, 1903. Click image to enlarge.

LW3796: 9600 dpi jpeg from original item purchased 2022 by Leon Worden.
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