MRS. RUTH L. McKEVETT
For many years a resident of Santa Paula, Mrs. Ruth L. McKevett has witnessed much of the development of this locality and has taken an active part in social and community affairs. Mrs. McKevett is the widow of Allan C. McKevett and a daughter of Dr. John Hinton and Ida (Ginkinger) Lowry, who were natives of Illinois. In that state Dr. Lowry was reared and educated, completing his studies in Rush Medical College, and subsequently became the head of that institution. About 1886 Dr. Lowry came to California and practiced his profession in the southern part of the state for many years, maintaining an office in Santa Paula for a time. Eventually he removed to Reedley, Fresno County, where he spent the remainder of his life. He was a widely known physician and enjoyed high standing in his profession. Besides his widow, who makes her home in Santa Paula, Dr. Lowry is survived by two sons, Harry and Claude, the former living in Ventura, California, while the latter resides at Santa Paula, and a daughter, Ruth, also of Santa Paula.
On June 6, 1907, Ruth Lowry became the wife of Allan C. McKevett, who was a native of Bradford, McKean County, Pennsylvania, born January 31, 1884. His father, Charles H. McKevett, was born in Cortland County, New York, October 3, 1848, and after attending the public schools of the Empire state went to the oil fields of Pennsylvania, where he operated on an extensive scale in Clarion, Butler, Warren and McKean counties. In 1886, having amassed a considerable fortune, he came west to California and bought four hundred twenty acres of land from Messrs. Bradley and Blanchard in the town of Santa Paula, Ventura County. In this deal he showed the foresight and sound judgment which characterized all of his activities, for this land is now all residence property and has greatly increased in value. After securing the tract he devoted it to the growing of fruit for some time, specializing in oranges, lemons and apricots. He entered the industrial field in 1887, when he formed the Santa Paula Lumber Company. In the following year he also became a factor in financial affairs, organizing the Santa Paula State Bank, of which he was vice president until September 23, 1889, when the name was changed to the First National Bank, which he served in the capacity of president. He was secretary and treasurer of the Graham-Loftus Oil Company; treasurer and a member of the board of directors of the Limoneira Company, at that time the largest growers of lemons in the state of California; and vice president of the Santa Paula Water Company. Forceful and resourceful, Charles H. McKevett carried forward to completion everything that he attempted and his efforts were at all times directed in those channels through which flows the greatest and most permanent good to the greatest number. His useful, upright life was brought to a close in 1907, at the age of fifty-nine years. He was a public-spirited citizen, ready at all times to use his means and influence for the promotion of such public improvements as were conducive to the comfort and happiness of his fellowmen, and there was perhaps no other man in the community who was held in higher esteem by the people, regardless of sect, politics or profession.
In 1873 in Pennsylvania Charles H. McKevett was married to Miss Alice Stowell, who long survived her husband, passing away October 28, 1926, at the age of seventy-three years. They were the parents of three children: Harriet M., now the wife of C. C. Teague and the sole surviving member of the original McKevett family; Mrs. Helen Best and Allan C. McKevett. The father of these children was a prominent Mason, identified with Santa Paula Lodge, No. 291, F. & A. M.; Ventura Chapter, R. A. M.; Ventura Commandery, K. T.; and Al Malaikah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., at Los Angeles. The mother gave to the city of Santa Paula the land on which was built the North grammar school, and she also donated the lot and erected the Ebell clubhouse in Santa Paula.
Allan C. McKevett was but two years old when the family came to Ventura County and his educational advantages were those afforded by the public school system of Santa Paula. In 1907, at the death of his father, he became manager of the McKevett estate, a large responsibility for a young man of twenty-three years. He inherited from his father business initiative, enterprise and sagacity, which enabled him to successfully manage the important interests entrusted to his charge. He was a director of the First National Bank of Santa Paula and a serviceable factor in its affairs. Death terminated his career on June 2, 1919, at the comparatively early age of thirty-five years, depriving Santa Paula of a citizen whom it could ill afford to lose. His life, although brief, was symmetrical and complete. He was true to the ties of home and friendship, genial and sympathetic in his social relations, generous and broad-minded in his attitude toward all worthy benevolences, and stood high in the esteem of his fellowmen. His widow and daughter, Miss Virginia McKevett, resides at 829 Santa Paula Avenue, Santa Paula. The daughter was accorded liberal educational privileges, attending Scripps College at Pomona, California, and also pursuing her studies in the State University at Berkeley. Mrs. Ruth L. McKevett served on the board of directors of the Ebell Club, of which she has long been an influential member, and her cooperation can ever be counted upon in support of those measures which make for civic growth and betterment.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. IV, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 95-97, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.