A pioneer of Ventura County, Richard Barrett Haydock has done much to advance the standards of education in this part of the state and for twenty-one years has served continuously as superintendent of the Oxnard schools. He was born in Paducah, Kentucky, March 30, 1867, a son of Richard M. and Elizabeth (Watts) Haydock, who were also natives of the Blue Grass state. Starting in life as a bank clerk, the father later became the owner of an iron foundry and while conducting that business operated steamers on the Ohio, Missouri and Red rivers during the Civil War. In 1872 he came to California and in the following year sent for his family, who arrived at Stockton in September, 1873. Later he managed the Rawhide Mines in Tuolumne County for his brothers, but eventually moved to Oakland. For a time he operated a hotel in San Francisco, and on March 9, 1876, came to Ventura. For seven years he cultivated a small ranch in this locality and in 1883 bought a farm near Monrovia, California, where he spent the remainder of his life, passing way when seventy-one years of age. He was a Mason, and gave his political support to the Democratic Party. After his death his widow went to Long Beach, California, to make her home with her daughter, Mrs. Lula Teel.
Richard B. Haydock completed a course in the Ventura high school and in preparation for educational work enrolled in the Los Angeles Normal School, from which he was graduated with the class of December 17, 1885. In the fall of 1886 he began teaching school about seven miles north of Ventura and in the following year became principal of the Hueneme School, remaining there for twelve years. In 1891 he was appointed by the general grand jury to exam the county books, efficiently completing that task. Elected superintendent of the Oxnard schools in 1901, he served until December, 1906, when he accepted a similar position at Ventura. At the request of the school board he returned to Oxnard in July, 1911, and has since remained here as superintendent. Keeping in close touch with the most advanced ideas along educational lines, he has improved the curriculum and methods of instruction, and during his tenure of office the local schools have been maintained at a high standard. Approximately thirteen hundred pupils are enrolled in the schools here and Oxnard now has four modern school buildings, which are a credit to the community.
In 1893 Mr. Haydock was married to Miss Victoria Lee Martin, a native of Springfield, Missouri, and a daughter of Joseph and Lucinda Martin. Mr. and Mrs. Haydock are the parents of a daughter, Ethel Martin, who was graduated from Leland Stanford University and received the Master of Arts degree from Columbia University. Afterward she had charge of a department in the public schools of Long Beach but is now residing in the family home at Oxnard.
Mr. Haydock is a Royal Arch Mason and was master of Oxnard Lodge, F. & A. M., in 1903. Appreciative of the duties and obligations as well as privileges of citizenship, he has generously and effectively exerted his talents for the general good. Mr. Haydock was solely instrumental in securing the donation of money for the Carnegie Library, which has been a vital force for cultural development in Oxnard. In 1903 he was called to the town board of trustees, of which he was a member until 1907, and also served on the board at a later date. At the time Oxnard was incorporated Mr. Haydock was made Mayor of the city. Elected a member of the county board of education in 1888, Mr. Haydock proved so highly qualified for the office that he has been retained on the board for forty-five years, establishing a notable record of public service. Just after the close of the World War he organized a local chapter of the Red Cross in which he has been continuously active since in the matter of membership and contributions.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. III, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 313-315, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.