By Peg Bos, Clovis Museum
Charles Mayo was born on September 11, 1849 in Waterville, Maine. Waterville, located on the Kennebec River, was a terminus for trade and shipping. Charles traveled west and married Alice Maher (born June 19, 1861) in Colorado in 1881.
Charles arrived in Clovis in 1896 with his wife Alice and two daughters: Bertha Mabel (born 1884 in Laramie, WY) and Leona (born in 1887). Bertha Mabel would marry Floyd Redford.
An 1895 family picture of cousin Jessie Maher and Leona Mayo was taken at the two story 1891 Clovis Southern Pacific Depot (Clovis Cole Hotel is now located there). Jessie’s father, Frank Maher, was the railroad agent and the family lived upstairs.
The depot was destroyed by fire in 1896 and replaced by a dismantled one story SP depot from Visalia. The building was razed in 1971.
An 1895 article by the Fresno Daily Evening Expositor reported: “Thirty homes and four business blocks had been built in the town in less than that many days.”
Charles built his home at the southeast corner of DeWitt and Fifth Streets (406 Fifth). A Clovis history book (“Images of an Age Clovis” published in 1984 by the Clovis Unified School District) identified the home as: “1891, Mayo/Redford, Fifth & DeWitt relocated Flume House”. Charles worked for the Fresno Flume and Lumber Company. However, the Flume did not arrive in Clovis until 1893.
Charles’ daughter Bertha recalled Clovis was just a big wheat field when they arrived. The depot and the 1896 Clovis Grammar School (Dewitt & Third Streets) could be viewed from their front room. Combined harvesters drawn by twenty-six mules/horses worked land up to the west side of DeWitt. The historic Mayo/Redford home remains a family residence.
Charles sold lumber locally and also operated a gas/oil station on the northwest corner of Fourth and Clovis Avenues. He died in 1924. His funeral service was held at the Presbyterian Church on the northwest corner of Fifth and DeWitt streets. The historic church was purchased by the Clovis Masons in 1930. The Clovis Lodge recently consolidated with a Fresno Lodge and the historic site is for sale.
Floyd Walter Redford was born in 1884 in Warrensburg, Missouri. His family arrived here in 1892 and purchased acreage at the Temperance Colony. Moses J. Church, a devout Seventh day Adventist, founded the Colony in 1877. Purchasers were asked “not to make or sell any intoxicating liquors”. Moses wanted his colonists to display a high moral character.
Floyd began working at the Lewis W. Gibson’s food/merchandise store that had been established on the northwest corner of Fifth and Pollasky in 1897. In 1919, Gibson sold the store to Carl and Bessie Merriman.
Floyd Redford married Bertha Mabel Mayo on April 10, 1905. Their only son, Floyd Jackson, was born on October 16, 1908.
The City of Clovis was incorporated in 1912. Lewis Gibson was elected the first President (Mayor) of the Board of Trustees (City Council) of the city. Floyd Redford (age 28 years) was elected the first city treasurer. He resigned from that office in 1916 and relocated to Missouri. He returned to Clovis in 1933 and was elected city treasurer in 1934. He retained that position until he resigned in 1955.
A 1914 Campaign card read: “Vote for Floyd W. Redford for City Treasurer. Your support respectfully solicited. Election Monday, April 13, 1914.” At his memorial on August 18, 1957 Floyd was remembered in this way: “He was of a friendly nature and his fellow business men prized his friendship and listened to his advice.”
The Redford’s son Jack courted his wife Bernice Neidliner while she was a nurse at the Burnett Sanitarium (1234 “S” Street, Fresno). She and a friend would bicycle from the sanitarium to the ’76 Union gas station (Clovis & Shaw) to visit Jack, who delivered gas to that station. They married in 1942. Jack and his father opened a hardware store (621 Fifth Street) in 1945.
The Mayo and Redford families are a part of our rich history.