JOSEPH F. HOKE
One of Beckwith’s most useful citizens is Joseph F. Hoke, superintendent of the Clover Valley Ice Company, and also a member of the county board of supervisors, in which capacity he has given able and appreciated service to his community. He was born at Paskenta, Tehama County, California, on the 8th of December, 1879, and is a son of George Washington Lane and Martha (Prator) Hoke. His father, who was born in Missouri, crossed the plains in his mother’s arms. The paternal grandfather, William Hoke, was an early dairy farmer on Mormon Island, near Folsom, Sacramento County.
Joseph F. Hoke, who is the second in order of birth of the fourteen children born to his parents, received his educational training in the public schools and when seventeen years old went to work on a farm near Red Bluff. After that he worked for various lumber companies, spending seven years at Sloat, five years with the Meyers & Turner Lumber Company and two years with its successor, the Murphy Lumber Company. He has held his present responsible position as superintendent of the Clover Valley Ice Company for a number of years, and has been a resident of Plumas County since 1917. In his present position he succeeded Chase Garrison, who was the founder of this plant in 1913, at which time it was known as the Grizzly Creek Ice Company. The ice houses were built in 1913 and the dam was constructed in the following year. This is the only natural ice plant now in successful operation in California and secures its ice from an artificial lake, made by the construction of a dam across Grizzly Creek, which backs up the water for about a half mile, covering an area of about fourteen acres, which affords an ample field for the annual cut of ice which is required for the company’s summer business. The cut amounts to about twenty thousand tons, which is stored in the company’s ten ice houses, two thousand tons to a house. The ice cakes are planed down to a thickness of fourteen inches and squared, so that they will pack evenly and solidly. The Clover Valley Ice Company is in close touch with the Clover Valley Lumber Company, having an interlocking directorate, and is also allied with the Western Pacific Railroad Company. From six to ten cars of ice are shipped to Portola daily during the fruit shipping season, being there used in the refrigerator cars of the Western Pacific Fruit Express Company and other concerns, for the shipping of California fruit to the east and middle west. Mr. Hoke has one hundred men under his supervision during the ice harvest season, and twelve men during the ice shipping season.
In 1905, at Chico, California, Mr. Hoke was united in marriage to Mrs. Lottie Peters. By a previous marriage she is the mother of two children: Thomas, who is now at Spring Garden, this state; and Isabel, who is the wife of B. L. Davis and the mother of four children. Thomas married Miss Lotta Penman and has two children. Both of Mr. Hoke’s children were adopted by Mr. Hoke after their marriage and bear his name.
Mr. Hoke has long taken an active interest in local political affairs, and in 1926 was an unsuccessful candidate for sheriff of Plumas County. In 1928 he was elected supervisor from district No. 1, in which capacity he has proved a man of good, practical judgment and has carefully and conscientiously safeguarded the public interests. He is a member of the Masonic order, being affiliated with the blue lodge in Beckwith, the chapter of Royal Arch Masons at Loyalton and the commandery of Knights Templar at Susanville, and he is also a member of the Ancient Egyptian Order of Sciots, being a member of Pyramid, No. 1, at Reno, of which he is a past master. He is a man of fine presence and splendid physique, standing six feet and four inches in height, and possessing tremendous strength. He has always been a hard worker, doing well whatever he undertakes, and possesses the tact that enables him to handle men easily and with pleasant relations. He is well liked by everyone who knows him and is regarded as one of Beckwith’s best citizens.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.