San Diego County
Charles Hook has devoted his attention to ranching and cattle raising in San Diego County since the beginning of his active career. He is the owner of one of the fine stock ranches in the southeastern part of the county and is here a leading representative of the cattle industry, his ranch comprising four hundred and eighty acres and being situated in the vicinity of Buckman Springs. The place is about seven miles distant from the village of Campo, which is Mr. Hook’s post office address.
Charles Hook was born in Campo, California, January 19, 1872, and is a son of James D. and Rebecca (Johnson) Hook, the former a native of Maine and the latter of Alabama, though she was reared and educated in the state of Mississippi. They came to the Pacific coast as pioneers, and James D. Hook owned the first grist mill in San Diego County, at La Posta, just a few miles from the present site of the Hook homestead. The family home was later established in Arizona, in which state the father died when his son was nine years of age. The widowed mother subsequently returned to San Diego County, California, where she filed a claim to one hundred and sixty acres of land, included in the present ranch property of her son Charles, and in due time she perfected her title to the property. She was one of the venerable and revered women of this part of San Diego County at the time of her death in 1901.
The early education of Charles Hook was acquired in the schools of Arizona and California, and he gave valuable aid in the reclaiming and developing of the land obtained by his mother, the same proving the nucleus of his present large and valuable ranch estate, which has the best of improvements, including modern buildings. Here he raises high-grade livestock, with special attention given to the breeding of Hereford and Durham cattle, his herds being headed by fine registered bulls and the beef cattle of the Hook Ranch commanding the maximum market prices. He runs about one hundred head of cattle, and in 1932 he planted a fine orchard of various kinds of fruit near his home. An earlier biographer wrote: “Mr. Hook is one of the alert and progressive representatives of the livestock enterprise in the county that has been his home since childhood, and he has so ordered his course as to gain and retain the unqualified respect and confidence of those with whom he has come in contact in the varied relations of life.”
In 1895 Mr. Hook was united in marriage to Miss Isola Derrick, who was born in Texas but since becoming the wife of Mr. Hook has resided continuously on the home ranch near Campo, California. Her parents came west to California from the Lone Star state and lived for a time at Stockton, San Joaquin County, before coming south. Mr. and Mrs. Hook are the parents of six children. Elva, the eldest, is the wife of Cedric E. Hoskins, of Pasadena, California, where Mrs. Hoskins conducts a general dry goods and department store. Viola is the wife of George Nalls, of El Centro, California, and the mother of a son, Charles, named for his maternal grandfather. Percy has been in the service of the forestry department of the United States government from the age of eighteen years and has risen from the position of forest ranger to that of scaler. He is a resident of Susanville, California, and fraternally is identified with the Masons. Myrna is the wife of Frank Goodell and is the mother of two children, Lucille and Edwin. Mr. Goodell is connected with the customs department of the United States government and is a member of the Masonic fraternity, while his wife belongs to the Eastern Star. Their home is at Calexico, California. Norma, the wife of Howard Canfield, is a resident of Pasadena, where she conducts a modern beauty parlor. She belongs to the Eastern Star and her husband is affiliated with the Masons. Lester assists his father in the management of the home ranch.
Mr. Hook is a staunch Democrat in politics and while he has had no ambition for public office he has given effective service as highway overseer for his district. He is known far and wide in this famous back country of San Diego County as an honest, quiet, unassuming man, a true son of honored pioneers.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. III, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 141-143, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.