Charles' father and grandfather were both farmers, and his father's farm, on which he was born, has since became part of the city of Buffalo. His father moved his family to Minnesota when Charles was fifteen years old. At the age of nineteen he left home to seek his fortune, and was engaged in mining in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, making, near Kingston, NV, in 1886, the biggest strike of his mining career. In 1887, he moved to Los Angeles, CA, and, investing in real estate, lost his fortune, but made another in the oil fields of southern CA and Mexico. With EL Doheny as his partner he drilled the first oil well in the Los Angeles district in 1895. About one year later he discovered Coalinga, which became the most prosperous oil district in the state. The Midway field was exploited, and finally he and Doheny entered Mexico to develop near Tampico what proved to be the most extensive and richest oil deposits in the world. They secured title by purchase to hundreds of thousands of acres of oil land, now known in a general way as the Mexican Petroleum Company. He was always interested in CA and had large realty and other holdings throughout the state. He was the founder of various banks and a director in serveral others, as well as many oil and financial corporations. Many charitable and educational activities profited by his generosity, and he maintained particular interest in those which cared for children, whom he especially loved, leaving handsome endowments in his will for institutions for homeless boys and girls. He probably contributed as much to the growth and development of southern CA as any single individual. His success came as the result of integrity, tremendous optimism, indomitable energy and an accurate knowledge of mining and oil properties. His last wish was that his home be converted into the "Phoebe P. Canfield Memorial Home", an institution to honor the memory of his wife. Under his will, te home was to be used for the education and care of children under 12, with absolutely no restrictions on religious grounds.
Charles Canfield was indirectly involved in Teapot Dome Scandal in Wyoming along with his business partner and his son, Charlie.
Death Cert LA City #4313 Cause: Angina Pectory Dr. M.L. Moore.182
Los Angeles Herald-Express, 22 Sep 1913: C. A. Canfield will is admitted to probate. The estate of $6,000,000 goes principally to the daughters, but a trust fund is left to the son, Charles O. Canfield.
Canfield, Charles A. b. May 15, 1848. d. August 15, 1913.
Millionaire Oil baron and real estate magnate. Canfield was the business partner and closest friend of Edward L. Doheney, and together, they built the Southern California oil industry from scratch. He also owned thousands of acres of land, and was one of the three founders of Beverly Hills, California. Evergreen Cemetery, Los Angeles, California, USA. Specific Interment Location: Section H, Lot 4732. Cause of Death: heart attack.207
Canfield, Charles Adelbert 1848-1913
Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography. A supplement. Six volumes. Edited by L.E. Dearborn. New York: Press Association Compilers, 1918-1931. Originally published as "The Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Supplementary Edition." (ApCAB X) The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Volume 16. New York: James T. White & Co., 1918. Reprint. Volumes 1-50. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms, 1967-1971. Use the Index to locate biographies. (NatCAB 16)
Chloe was a 16 year old school teacher in Alma, MN, when her brother, Erford Wescott, introduced her to Charles Canfield in 1875.203
Chloe was shot by her former coachman.
San Francisco Chronicle
March 21, 1906
Murder Buck Is Convicted
Shot Down the Wife of Millionaire Canfield
-Los Angeles, March 21, - Morris Buck was today convicted of murder in the first degree for the killing of Mrs. Charles A. Canfield, wife of the millionaire oil operator. The jury was out two hours and a half. Buck displayed no emotion at the announcement of the verdict. Judge Smith announced that he would pass sentence upon the prisoner next Saturday.
On January 27th Buck, who had been employed as a coachman by the Canfields called at their home near Westlake Park, and asked to see Mrs. Canfield. When she went to the front door Buck demanded a sum of money, and when she refused to give it to him, drew a revolver and shot her through the breast. Mrs. Canfield lived but a short time after being shot.206
Death Cert LA City #346 (filed 1/30/06). Cause: gunshot wound, homicide signed J.H. Trout, Coroner Informant J. H. Davisson182