Among the California pioneers of 1849 was T. A. Cravens, who was born in Marion, Alabama, in 1828. His father, Jesse P. Cravens, was a physician and surgeon of Marion, and enjoyed a large practice. T. A. Cravens was educated in Marion, and at the age of twenty-one, during the California gold excitement, started on that long, tedious journey across the plains, taking the southern route, through New Mexico and Arizona. Upon his arrival in California he went to the mines on the American River, and there, and at other points, he was engaged in placer mining for about two years, with reasonable success. He then went to Eureka and engaged lumbering, owning his own saw-mills and remaining about three years.
In January, 1856, Mr. Cravens was married in Marysville, Yuba County, to Miss Elizabeth Humes, a native of Missouri. They then went to Plumas County, and Mr. Cravens again engaged in placer mining, about three years. In 1859 he removed to Sonoma County and purchased a farm of 160 acres, and carried on general farming until 1865, and in Monterey County, until 1868, when they came south, spending the winter in Los Angeles, and in the spring of 1869 locating in the Carpenteria Valley, where they purchased a ranch of sixty acres, on which was a small adobe house.
Land was mainly unimproved being covered with brush and a heavy growth of live-oaks. Then the work of clearing and improving began, and the broad, beautiful fields in a high state cultivation now surround their more modern house and more complete out-buildings. They have added seventy acres to their ranch, all valley land of which 100 acres are yearly planted to Lima beans, with an average yield of 2,000 pounds to the acre. They keep eight or ten horse and mules and several cows, but only for ranch purposes.
Mr. Cravens was a man popular among his associates and much respected by all. He served his county one term as Supervisor. At the age of sixty years, after an active life of much labor and hardships, he passed away. His widow has since managed and carried on the ranch. Mr. and Mrs. Cravens have been blessed with eleven children, eight of whom survive, one daughter being married to John Bailard and living in the valley, and seven children living at home.
History of Carpenteria, California
Andrew Bailard Biography, 1940
John Bailard Biography, 1883
John Bailard Biography, 1891
J. C. Bailard Biography, 1927
Family of Mary Theresa Michaels and Lawrence Baylard
Lowell Francis Shanklin, 1927
O. P. Squier, 1927