Hanford, California

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Hanford, California
City of Hanford
Official seal of Hanford, California
Seal
Location of Hanford in Kings County, California.
Location of Hanford in Kings County, California.
Hanford, California is located in the United States
Hanford, California
Hanford, California
Location in the contiguous United States
Coordinates: 36°19′39″N 119°38′44″W / 36.32750°N 119.64556°W / 36.32750; -119.64556Coordinates: 36°19′39″N 119°38′44″W / 36.32750°N 119.64556°W / 36.32750; -119.64556
Country United States
State California
County Kings
IncorporatedAugust 12, 1891[1]
Government
 • MayorSue Sorensen
 • Vice mayorJon Draxler
 • City managerMario Cifuentez II
 • Chief of policeParker Sever
Area
 • Total16.80 sq mi (43.52 km2)
 • Land16.80 sq mi (43.52 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
Elevation249 ft (76 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total53,967
 • Estimate 
(2018)[4]
56,910
 • Density3,305.58/sq mi (1,276.31/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
93230, 93232
Area code(s)559
FIPS code06-31960
GNIS feature ID1660714
Websitewww.cityofhanfordca.com Edit this at Wikidata

Hanford is an important commercial and cultural center in the south central San Joaquin Valley and is the county seat of Kings County, California. It is the principal city of the Hanford-Corcoran metropolitan area (MSA Code 25260), which encompasses all of Kings County, including the cities of Hanford and Corcoran. The ZIP Code is 93230 (93232 for post office boxes). The city of Hanford is surrounded by communities that do not fall within the city limits but use the same zip code. These communities include Grangeville, Hardwick and Home Garden.

The population was 53,967 at the 2010 census. The California Department of Finance estimated that the city's population was 58,176 as of 2018.[5]

Geography[edit]

Hanford is located at 36°19′39″N 119°38′44″W / 36.32750°N 119.64556°W / 36.32750; -119.64556 (36.3275, −119.6457).[6] It is situated in the south central portion of California's San Joaquin Valley, 28 miles (45 km) south-southeast of the city of Fresno and 18 miles (29 km) west of the city of Visalia. The city is 249 feet (76 m) above sea level and has a flat terrain. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.6 square miles (43 km2), none of which is covered by water. The only natural watercourse is Mussel Slough, remnants of which still exist on the city's western edge. The Kings River is about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) north of Hanford. The People's Ditch, an irrigation canal dug in the 1870s, traverses Hanford from north to south.[7]

Climate[edit]

Hanford, California
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: Weather.com / NWS

Hanford's land was once a drainage basin for Tulare Lake. Today it has a climate typical of the San Joaquin Valley floor with hot, dry summers and cool winters characterized by dense Tule fog. The wetter season occurs from November through March. The average annual rainfall over the ten years from 1997/98 through 2006/07 was 8.97 inches (228 mm). The 30-year normal precipitation (1971–2000) is 8.29 inches (211 mm).

  • On average, the warmest month is July with a high of 97.9 °F (36.6 °C) and a low of 62.4 °F (16.9 °C).
  • The highest recorded temperature was 116 °F (47 °C) on July 27, 1933.
  • On average, the coolest month is December with a high of 55.4 °F (13.0 °C) and a low of 34.6 °F (1.4 °C).
  • The lowest recorded temperature was 14 °F (−10 °C) on January 6, 1913.
  • There are an average of 105.2 days with highs of 90 °F (32 °C) or higher.
  • There are an average of 38.6 days with lows of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower.
  • The maximum normal precipitation (based on the 30-year average) occurs in January with 1.59 inches (40 mm).
  • The wettest year was 1983 with 15.57 inches (395 mm).
  • The driest year was 1953 with 3.37 inches (86 mm).
  • The most rainfall in one month was 6.69 inches (170 mm) in January 1969.
  • The most rainfall in 24 hours was 2.44 inches (62 mm) on February 10, 1978.
  • The record snowfall was 2.0 inches (51 mm) on January 21, 1962.

The National Weather Service Forecast Office for the San Joaquin Valley is in Hanford and includes a Doppler weather radar. Weather forecasts and climatological information for Hanford and the surrounding area are available from its official website.[8]

History[edit]

Map of Tulare Lake in 1874

Today's Hanford was once north of Tulare Lake, historically the largest body of freshwater west of the Mississippi River. The area was inhabited by the Tachi Yokut Indians for several thousand years prior to Euro-American contact. They occupied locations along watercourses such as creeks, springs and seep areas (such as sloughs), along perennial and seasonal drainages, as well as flat ridges and terraces.[9] Therefore, places along streams are considered likely locations for prehistoric cultural resources. Permanent villages were usually placed on an elevation above the seasonal flood levels. Surrounding areas were used for hunting and seed, acorn, and grass gathering.

Hanford in 1877. Resident J.T. Baker (far right) holds a broom in front of his drugstore. Going left is E. Schoenfeld's Peoples Store, Philip & Wilson's, and Hanford Hotel.

Since the annexation of California after the Mexican-American War, the locality was settled by US Americans and immigrants as farmland, broadly referred to as "Mussel Slough". The earliest dated grave in the area was a young Alice Spangler who was initially buried in the Kings River Cemetery just north of her family's farm in 1860.[10] As settlement grew, Tulare Lake's feeding rivers were diverted for agricultural irrigation, causing it to gradually shrink and over the 19th and 20th centuries, effectively become extinct.

From the mid-to-late 1870's, the Southern Pacific Railroad planned-out tracks towards the developing farmland west of Visalia, spurring a growth in labour and population. Hanford's namesake was James Madison Hanford, an executive for the company. The earliest known document labeling "Hanford" is an 1876 map of Tulare County which once included the land known as today's Kings County.[11] Tracks were laid through a sheep camp in the year 1877. According to History of Kings County: "It was but a short step from sheep-camp to village and with the railroad as an attraction the village flourished and became a town within a few historic months."[12] Many of those working on the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

Since 1877, Hanford began to appear in state newspapers giving details into events of its early days. In December of 1877, there was a stagecoach robbery.[13] In 1878, Hanford began running their own newspaper service and wiring called "The Public Good" which fed into other papers.[14] In May of 1878, Hanford residents drafted a resolve against the South Pacific Railroad from purchasing land with residing settlers.[15] In June of 1878, the Workingmen's Party was reported to have a majority vote over the Democrats in the town.[16] In October, the town proposed state legislature to limit claims to land because of the railway.[17] In November, a William Blunt was arrested for stealing several horses from the town.[18] Later that month, masked men burned down the house of farmer Perry Commodore Phillips, retrospectively claimed because he purchased land from the railroad.[19] On December 16th, by concert of action, Phillips and J.B. Fretwell had their newly-purchased land plowed.[20] On March 27th 1879, a fire broke out in the back of E. Schoenfeld's store which spread due to harsh winds, affecting next-door druggist J.T. Baker and burning down a saloon and a barbershop.[21] On April 27th, Hon. Creed Hammond spoke in Hanford.[22] In May, the Upper Kings River Canal and Irrigation Company filed articles of incorporation.[23] On August 1st, California Governor candidates George Clement Perkins and Romualdo Pacheco (and on the 10th: O F Thornton and W F White W P C) spoke in Hanford and Lemoore. Perkins would become California's 14th Governor on January 8th, 1880.[24]

In May of 1880, a dispute over land titles between settlers and the Southern Pacific Railroad resulted in a bloody gun battle on a farm 5.6 mi (9.0 km) northwest of Hanford that left seven men dead. This event became famous as the Mussel Slough Tragedy. The next month, the town's first census was held counting some 269 residents.[25] Fourty-four of them were Chinese immigrants who resided in what's known today as China Alley.[26] Additional historic resident information is below.

A post office was set up in 1887.[27]

Several times, major fires destroyed much of the young community's business district. The need for fire protection led to the town becoming an incorporated city in 1891. Its first mayor was local resident Yamon LeBaron.

An electrical generating plant was built in 1891 by pioneering flour miller H.G. Lacey, bringing the first electric lights to the city. The Lacey Milling Company was still operating in Hanford in 2016.

The first public high school, Hanford Union High School, was started in 1892 with one teacher, W. S. Cranmer, and an average enrollment of fourteen.[28]

When Kings County was created in 1893 from the western part of Tulare County, Hanford became its county seat.

A second railroad was laid through Hanford in 1897, which today is the main north-south line of the BNSF Railway through the San Joaquin Valley. The original east-west Southern Pacific Railroad branch line is now operated by the San Joaquin Valley Railroad.

The Star Restaurant, est. 1901

In 1901, a restaurant called the Star opened on Sixth Street across from the Southern Pacific tracks. The Star Restaurant was still doing business at the same location in 2019.

In 1903, steel-magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donate $12,500 for the construction of the Hanford Carnegie Library which opened in 1906 (today the Hanford Carnegie Museum).[29]

Saloons flourished in Hanford's early days despite an anti-saloon movement until the town voted to become "dry" in 1912, eight years before nationwide Prohibition in the United States took effect.[12]

In the 1930's, famed pilot Amelia Earhart lived in Hanford to teach flying lessons at Fresno Chandler Airport. She befriended local resident and student of hers Mary Packwood with whom she gifted a personally-designed dress and left luggage shortly before her disappearance in the Pacific Ocean in 1937. The belongings are on display in Hanford's Carnegie Museum.[30]

Around May 1944 during World War II and shortly before running of The White Cliffs of Dover, a short colour-footage documentative film called Hanford at War was made showing downtown, interiors of the Fox Theatre, and several different schools and social gatherings.

From the mid 1990's to early 2000's, the Stonecrest Subdivision was constructed on the north side of the city for modern suburban housing and cul-de-sac roads.[31]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880269
1890942250.2%
19002,929210.9%
19104,82964.9%
19205,88821.9%
19307,02819.4%
19408,23417.2%
195010,02821.8%
196010,1331.0%
197015,17949.8%
198020,95838.1%
199030,89747.4%
200041,68634.9%
201053,96729.5%
Est. 201856,910[4]5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[32]

2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[33] reported that Hanford had a population of 53,967. The population density was 3,253.1 people per square mile (1,256.0/km²). The racial makeup of Hanford was 33,713 (62.5%) White, 2,632 (4.9%) African American, 712 (1.3%) Native American, 2,322 (4.3%) Asian, 53 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 11,599 (21.5%) from other races, and 2,936 (5.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25,419 persons (47.1%).

The Census reported that 69,690 people (98.3% of the population) lived in households, 283 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 616 (1.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 17,492 households, out of which 8,053 (46.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 9,088 (52.0%) were married couples living together, 2,833 (16.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,207 (6.9%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,315 (7.5%) unmarried partnerships, and 117 (0.7%) same-sex partnerships. 3,483 households (19.9%) were made up of individuals and 1,405 (8.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03. There were 13,128 families (75.1% of all households); the average family size was 3.49.

The population was spread out with 16,731 people (31.0%) under the age of 18, 5,478 people (10.2%) aged 18 to 24, 14,764 people (27.4%) aged 25 to 44, 11,647 people (21.6%) aged 45 to 64, and 5,347 people (9.9%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.9 males.

There were 18,493 housing units at an average density of 1,114.8 per square mile (430.4/km²), of which 10,208 (58.4%) were owner-occupied, and 7,284 (41.6%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.6%. 31,109 people (57.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 21,959 people (40.7%) lived in rental housing units.

15.5% of the populace lived below the poverty line.

2000[edit]

As of the 2000 census, there were 41,686 people, 13,931 households, and 10,378 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,184.4 people per square mile (1,229.6/km²). There were 14,721 housing units at an average density of 1,124.5 per square mile (434.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.1% White, 5.0% Black or African American, 1.4% Native American, 2.9% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 20.8% from other races, and 5.7% from two or more races. 38.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Foreign-born residents accounted for 13.2% of Hanford's population and 28.3% spoke a language other than English at home.

There were 13,931 households out of which 42.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.5% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.39.

In the city, the population was spread out with 31.6% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.3 males.

Economy[edit]

Hanford is a major trading center serving the surrounding agricultural area. According to the California Employment Development Department, as of September 2012, most residents of the Hanford-Corcoran Metropolitan Statistical Area were employed in services (31,000 employees), government (14,400 employees) and farming (6,400 employees) as well as in some manufacturing enterprises (5,700 employees).[34]

The heavy industry sector has declined significantly over the past 30 years. An oil refinery formerly operated in the city under several different owners (Caminol Oil Co. from 1932–1967, Beacon Oil Co. from 1967–1982 and Ultramar Oil Co. from 1982–1987) until it permanently closed in 1987.[35] A tire manufacturing plant was built in 1962 by the Armstrong Rubber Co., which operated it until that company was purchased by the Italian manufacturer Pirelli, which eventually closed the factory in 2001. In August 2017, Faraday Future announced that it had signed a lease for the former Pirelli plant where it plans to manufacture electric vehicles. The company said that it could employ up to 1,300 people over time and build up to 10,000 cars a year.[36][37]

Major employers within the city of Hanford in 2006 included the Kings County government with 1,041 employees, the Adventist Health System with 857, the Hanford Elementary School District with 520, the Del Monte Foods tomato cannery with 435-year-round and 1,500 seasonal employees and Marquez Brothers International, Inc., makers of Hispanic cheese and other dairy products.[38] Many Hanford residents work for other nearby employers such as NAS Lemoore, the U.S. Navy's largest Master Jet Base located 15.5 mi (24.9 km) WSW of Hanford and for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation which operates three state prisons in Kings County.

Hanford did not escape the effects of the Great Recession and employment was also affected by the California drought. The unemployment rate in January 2016 was 10.3% but had dropped to 6.8% in December 2018.[39] According to the United States Census Bureau, median household income in Hanford was $54,767 and 18.3% of the population was living below the poverty line in 2008–2012.[40]

The homeownership rate was 57% in 2008–2012 according to the Census Bureau.[40]

Hanford shopping[edit]

Hanford has variety of shopping including:

Hanford Mall – A 625,580 square foot indoor mall, and another adjacent shopping center with a number of major national retailers.

Hanford Historic Downtown – Home to unique restaurants, events, stores and the historic Superior Dairy and Fox Theater.

Transportation[edit]

Air[edit]

The Hanford Municipal Airport serves general aviation and has a 5,175 feet (1,577 m) paved runway.

Bus[edit]

Kings Area Rural Transit (KART) operates regularly scheduled fixed route bus service, vanpool service for commuters and Dial-A-Ride (demand response) services throughout Kings County as well as to Fresno.[citation needed] Hanford is also served by Orange Belt Stages.

Rail[edit]

City Seal

Existing: Amtrak provides passenger rail service from Hanford station to the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, and service to Southern California by a combination of rail and bus. Freight service is available from both the BNSF Railway and the San Joaquin Valley Railroad.

Proposed: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009-funded California High-Speed Rail has proposed a station. However, the proposed station on the eastern outskirts of Hanford is listed as "optional" and will not be built without matching local funds or in-kind support. Greg Gatzka, Kings County's Community Development Director, was quoted in a June 2011 newspaper story that "the real question is whether high-speed rail is going to authorize a station there. They have a priority list and this station is at the bottom of the list."[41]

Major highways[edit]

California 43.svg Highway 43: Connects to Selma to the north and Corcoran to the south.

California 198.svg Highway 198: Connects to Lemoore to the west and Visalia to the east.

Utilities[edit]

Water[edit]

The city's water system is supplied by a network of 14 active deep wells and one standby well ranging in depth from 600 feet (180 m) to 1,700 feet (520 m) with 203 miles (327 km) of main lines and serves 15,900 water connections.[42][43]

Formerly, the water had contained naturally occurring arsenic in excess of the maximum contaminant level adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. However, according to the Consumer Confidence Report issued by the city of Hanford in March 2010 for calendar year 2009, since November 2009, the city has supplied water that is below the federal standard of 10 micrograms of arsenic per liter of water. The city's mitigation project consisted of reducing the arsenic content in two existing deep water wells, drilling five replacement wells, and eliminating eight wells that produced water that exceeded standards.

Although it does not pose a health hazard, Hanford's drinking water also naturally contains hydrogen sulfide, which caused the water to have a noticeable "rotten egg" odor.[44] In 2014, the city began chlorinating its water for the first time, which eliminates the hydrogen sulfide odor.[45] In February 2015, the city completed a project to chlorinate all of its water.[46]

Wastewater[edit]

The city's sanitary sewer system consists of 212 mi (341 km) of collector lines and 22 pump stations.[47]

The wastewater treatment plant is in the southern part of the city on Houston Avenue and treats 5,000,000 U.S. gallons (19,000,000 liters) of sewage per day. The treated effluent is used to irrigate non-food crops.[48]

Electricity and gas[edit]

Southern California Edison provides electricity to most of Hanford. However, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company serves the industrial park area in the city's southernmost part.

The Southern California Gas Company supplies natural gas.

Telephone and cable television[edit]

AT&T provides landline telephone service. Comcast has the cable TV franchise for Hanford.

Government[edit]

Hanford is incorporated as a general law city under the California Constitution. The city has a council-manager government with a city manager[49] appointed by the city council.[50]

The city council is made up of five members elected by districts for four-year terms. There are no term limits in effect. The mayor and vice mayor are elected annually by the city council from among its members. In December 2019, the city council elected John Draxler as mayor and elected Francisco Ramirez as vice mayor. Other council members include Art Brieno, Sue Sorenson, and Martin Devine.[51]

Hanford's city manager is the chief administrative officer of the city and is responsible for the overall administrative direction of the city. The city manager's duties include development and implementation of the annual budget for approval by the city council. Mario Cifuentez II was appointed as the city manager in 2019.[52]

In the state legislature, Hanford is in the 14th State Senate District, which is represented by Democrat Melissa Hurtado,[53] and in the 32nd State Assembly District, represented by Democrat Rudy Salas. Federally, Hanford is in California's 21st congressional district and is represented by Democrat TJ Cox.

Education[edit]

Hanford has 15 elementary schools, three junior high schools, four high schools with a total of 8,464 Kindergarten through 8th grade students and 3,522 high schoolers. The United States Census of 2000 reported that 74.5% of Hanford residents aged 25 and over were high school graduates and 14.4% had bachelor's degrees or higher.[40]

The Hanford Elementary School District provides kindergarten through eighth grade education for most of the city. It operates the following elementary and junior high schools:[54]

  • Hamilton Elementary
  • Jefferson Elementary (houses the Full Language Immersion program (FLI) and the Community Day School)
  • Lee Richmond Elementary
  • Lincoln Elementary
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary
  • James Monroe Elementary
  • Roosevelt Elementary
  • Simas Elementary
  • George Washington Elementary
  • John F. Kennedy Jr. High
  • Woodrow Wilson Jr. High

The Pioneer Union Elementary School District serves much of the northern part of Hanford and operates Pioneer Elementary, Frontier Elementary and Pioneer Middle Schools.[55]

Part of north Hanford is served by the Kings River-Hardwick School District.[56] A small area in southwest Hanford is served by the Armona Union Elementary School District, which operates Armona Elementary and Parkview Middle schools in the nearby community of Armona.[57]

The Hanford Joint Union High School District provides public secondary education. It operates Hanford Union High School, Hanford West High School, Sierra Pacific High School as well as Earl F. Johnson High School, which is a continuation high school. The District also operates the Hanford Adult School. A new state-of-the-art comprehensive full-service high school, called Sierra Pacific High School opened on August 13, 2009 with the first class graduating in 2013. Sierra Pacific is part of the Hanford Joint Educational Center, which is a joint use project of the Hanford Joint Union High School District, the College of the Sequoias and the City of Hanford. The Hanford Joint Educational Center is on 13th Avenue 1/4 of a mile north of Lacey Blvd.[57]

The College of the Sequoias (COS) community college based in Visalia, California operates an education center in Hanford as part of the Joint Educational Center that includes Sierra Pacific High School.[58]

Brandman University, part of the Chapman University System, has a Hanford campus for adult students.[59]

Private elementary schools in Hanford include Hanford Christian School and St. Rose-McCarthy School.

Culture[edit]

The Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture[edit]

The former Clark Center had the mission of collecting, preserving and exhibiting works of fine art, primarily the arts of Japan. The Center also housed a specialist library for Japanese art and culture. The Clark Center closed permanently on June 30, 2015. The art collection was moved to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the bonsai collection was transferred to the Shinzen Friendship Garden at Woodward Park in Fresno, California.[60]

Hanford Carnegie Museum[edit]

Hanford Carnegie Museum

The Hanford Carnegie Museum was built in 1905 as one of the many Carnegie libraries that were funded by the steel industry magnate, Andrew Carnegie. The library was replaced by a new structure at a different location in 1968. The old library was later renovated and re-opened as the Hanford Carnegie Museum in 1975. The building is of Romanesque architecture with displays of furniture and photos describing the history of the Hanford area.[61]

Kings District Fair[edit]

The Kings District Fair is a traditional county fair held on four days in mid-June at the Kings Fairgrounds.[62][63]

Renaissance of Kings Cultural Arts Faire[edit]

The Renaissance of Kings Cultural Arts Faire[64] is held the first weekend of October at Courthouse Square in Hanford's city center. The Faire recreates the period during the reign of King Henry VIII of England. There is no admission charge and the event typically attracts 15,000 people over the two-day period. The event was cancelled in 2012 but returned in 2013.[65]

Kings Art Center

Kings Art Center[edit]

The Kings Art Center was opened in 1989 to be the premier visual arts gallery and art training center of Kings County. Gallery shows are changed approximately every four weeks. Typical shows include photography, pottery, water color, mixed media, prints, textiles and fibers. Art classes for adults and children are scheduled throughout the year.[66]

Kings Symphony Orchestra[edit]

The Kings Symphony Orchestra[67] was founded in 1963 and draws musicians from throughout the central and southern San Joaquin Valley. The orchestra generally performs four times a year with a variety of classical and "pops" repertoire.

Hanford in literature[edit]

William Saroyan's short story, "The Journey to Hanford" that appeared in My Name Is Aram is a comic account of two characters from Fresno – a boy and his wastrel uncle – who share a single bicycle as they travel the approximately thirty-mile route between Fresno and Hanford, taking along a sack of rice to feed them through what turns out to be a largely pointless summer.

Hanford's Chinese community[edit]

Chinese immigrants arrived in the late 19th century to build railroads and work on farms. They created a thriving Chinatown in Hanford in the neighborhood around China Alley.[12] China Alley was the site of the famous but now closed Imperial Dynasty restaurant. Hanford's Taoist Temple (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) built in 1893 is also there. A Moon Festival is held in China Alley in early October. In July 2011, Hanford city council commissioned a study of China Alley with the hope of revitalizing it. The China Alley Preservation Society is a non profit organization dedicated to preserving and revitalizing China Alley

Hanford's African American community[edit]

While the black community has long played an important role in the city, the City of Hanford only began to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 15, 2007 after a long battle led by the local branch of the NAACP. The City Council then recognized the day as an official holiday with a resolution honoring Dr. King, read by then Mayor Joaquin Gonzales. The most prominent African-Americans living in the community include

  • Chris Jordan, almost 30-year veteran City of Hanford Police Captain, then elected in 2006 as the first black Sheriff of Kings County.
  • The late civil rights activist, Wanda Williams-Hinton, turned the Black History Month celebration into an annual citywide tradition; that has since been carried on by community leader Gerry Young.[68]

Sister city[edit]

Hanford is a sister city with Setana, a small town on Hokkaido, Japan. The program is known for promoting international friendship. Both cities send a delegate group of both prominent city citizens and high school students. For the city of Hanford, high school students are selected from both high schools through an application and interview process for delegate spots. The Setana high school provides a student delegate position for their entire upper class. Hanford delegates travel to Setana, Japan in the summer. Setana delegates travel to Hanford in the winter.

Sites of interest[edit]

Hanford Fox Theatre
Kings County Courthouse
The Bastille
  • The Hanford Fox Theatre was constructed in 1929 and is on Irwin Street in Hanford's city center. It is regularly used for live concerts. Featured artists in 2006 and 2007 included the Charlie Daniels Band, Dwight Yoakam, Kathy Griffin and George Jones. In the past, the Hanford Fox Theater hosted benefit performances by Bob Hope, Red Skelton and John Denver.[69]
  • The Kings County Courthouse was erected after Kings County was formed; it opened in 1896. Constructed in an eclectic mix of styles in a park in the center of Hanford, it was expanded in 1914. The building was the county's courthouse until 1976 when it was replaced by the new Kings County Government Center on West Lacey Boulevard. The old courthouse was remodeled in the early 1980s and now houses offices, small shops and restaurants.[70]
  • The building now known as The Bastille just north of the old courthouse was the Kings County Jail from 1898 until 1964. Constructed in Romanesque style, it is notable for its crenellated octagonal tower. It is closed and boarded up.[70]
  • Superior Dairy[71] is a classic 1920s ice cream parlor that is well known in the Hanford area. The business makes all of its ice cream on-site. Superior Dairy is across the street from the Civic Auditorium and The Bastille.
  • Fort Roosevelt was a well-known environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation center at the Roosevelt Elementary School until it was closed and demolished in 2005.

Sports[edit]

Hanford is the site of the Hanford Criterium[72] bicycle races held on a Sunday in late March or early April. The 0.9-mile (1.4 km) hourglass style loop course is run on downtown streets. The Criterium is held under USA Cycling racing rules and permit.

Dirt track auto racing takes place at the Kings Speedway[73] from March through October. The track is a 3/8-mile semi-banked clay oval and is at the Kings Fairgrounds.

Notable people[edit]

Historic Residents[edit]

The residents of the Hanford area up to 1877 were mainly farmers. Following information provided by the 1876 map of Tulare County, several of these farming families can be determined.[11] Within the boundaries of today's city c. 2020 (not including its surroundings), the early landowners are named as follows:

Landowner in 1876 Additional Information
Dr. Louis Hazelton Bascom Medical doctor and farmer
Edwin J Benedict Brother of John Benedict
George Warner Cody[74]
J Coffey
AB Crowl
CW Defoe
R Dodge
William R. Dykes
Winn & Giddings
V Grant
John W Harris His brother James died in the Mussel Slough Tragedy.
R Jarkinson
Joseph T McJunkin[75] Brother of Charles Homer McJunkin
J Mott
Perry Commodore Philips
JV Rodgers
M Silva
CM White
James Starkes Williams Livestock raiser (sheep)
Francis John Wyruck
Charles William York

After the 1876 map, other information on settlers over the years can be suggested from book recollections and grave entries/headstones from the Kings River and Hanford cemeteries. While many of these people were not permanent residents or might've lived on surrounding farms, their burial in the cemeteries or family notations can constitute them as such. The earliest dated grave in the area was a young Alice Spangler who was initially buried in the Kings River Cemetery just north of her family's farm in 1860, daughter of Daniel Spangler whose farm starts just north of today's city.[10] Her sister Maggie J Spangler died on June 7th 1863.[76] That year, J.A. Rigby died.[77] In 1864, a baby of William Ingram died.[78] On March 27th, Daniel S Rhoads died, son of noted settler Daniel Rhoads.[79] In 1866, Mrs. Matilda Vanvaler died.[80] On November 3rd, 1868, Minnie J. Johnston died, daughter of J.W. Johnston.[81] In 1869, another baby of Ingram died.[82] On September 30th, an unknown pioneer died.[83] On January 26th 1871, a baby daughter of Ingram died.[84] On September 17th, 1873, a baby son of T J Hames died.[85] On September 28th, David W Gamlin died, son of Thomas Gamlin.[86] On January 16th 1874, Lillie Young died, daughter of A. Young.[87] On February 15th 1874, Henry Levi Wood died, son of George Dobson Wood.[88] On April 5th, George Price McQuiddy died, son of Thomas Jefferson McQuiddy.[89] On April 22nd, George's brother William Randolph McQuiddy's wife Ida C Putnam-McQuiddy died.[90] On May 9th, Ellen and Rorry Sutherland drowned, daughters of James Sutherland.[91] On May 26th, George W Lyall died, son of Joseph Joel Lyall.[92] George Lyall's mother died around the same time.[93] On June 14th, Lozetta Pursell died, daughter of John Davis Pursell.[94] In November, William McQuiddy's son Ernest McQuiddy died.[95] On November 10th, Thornton T Hackett died, brother of James Anderson Hackett.[96] On November 7th 1875, Samuel Orson Manning died, son of Elisha Arnold Manning.[97] In 1876, Philip Myers died.[98] In the same year Andrew Vanvaler died, son of Matilda, as well as a Hannah Wood.[99] John Culberson Rice supposedly arrived in Hanford and settled on a farm southwards on Christmas of 1876.[100][101] On January 16th, Elizabeth Theodosia Braund-Hobler died, wife of George Hobler.[102] On March 12th, William Henry Burris died.[103] In 1877 a Bertie Smith died.[104] On January 27th, Myra Almira Coe-Dewolf died.[105] On February 22nd, Leugene Hamilton Wright died.[106]

Around March of 1877, the first Hanford town dwellings appeared around today's Lacey Blvd and numbered street stretch between 10th and 11th Avenues, probably south of Lacey and bending around the railway because the square acre northwards was privately owned. The 1877 photograph pictures J.T. Baker with his store as well as an "E. Schoenfeld Peoples Store" (which was in operation by a man of that name) and a Phillips & Wilson's. According to newspapers, DT Wilcoxon lived in Hanford in 1877.[107] On October 27th, Leugene Wright's daughter Minnie died.[108] On December 12th, a Gertie E Clute died, daughter of G.W. Clute.[109]

In 1878, a Presbyterian Rev. Warren Compton led a camp meeting of 8 members to form a mission. On January 4th, Solomon Peterson Gladden ("the first lawman of present-day King's County") was shot in pursuit of the store-robber Procopio Murieta, a nephew of Joaquin Murieta, in a house on the west side of Tulare Lake.[110][111][112] On April 9th, Gracie S Clark died, daughter of Charles W Clark.[113] On June 19th, Ada Headrick died, daughter of Daniel Headrick.[114] Her twin sister Ida died 2 days later.[115] In July, Rena Belle Cheatham died, daughter of DeWitt Clinton Cheatham.[116] In October, Richard White was accidentally shot in the throat while getting his pistol examined.[117] On November 10th, George T Wilson died, son of Osborne Lamar Wilson.[118] On November 18th, Rev. William Smith organized the first church with 17 members in the Exchange Saloon.[119] About that same day, Miss Belle May took up the position as schoolteacher in Hanford.[120] On November 25th, Richard G Berry died.[121] On December 16th, by concert of action, Perry Phillips and a J.B. Fretwell had their purchased land plowed.[20][122]

Hanford in 1879 from the Michael J Semas collection. Oppenheimer & Co. has replaced Phillips & Wilson's.

In the 1879 photograph, Lou Oppenheimer's store replaced Phillips & Wilson's. In January, Mr. Brackett moved his family to Hanford.[123] On January 30th, Sarah Woodcock died, daughter of William Henry Woodcock.[124] In February, Mrs. Davenport broker her neck trying to jump out of her and her husband's runaway cart.[125][126] On February 28th, Christine Bell died, daughter of M.G. Bell.[127] On June 10th, 14-year-old Dora Adell Adams died.[128] Between March and June, 4 children of Joseph B Yule died.[129] On July 3rd, Evia Crawford died, daughter of AJ Crawford.[130] On July 9th, Martha V McGee died, daughter of B.F. McGee.[131] On August 26th, John Crockard married Charlotte E. by Rev. C. V. Anthony.[132] On November 9th, Nelson Archibald of Nova Scotia married Henrietta Adams of Iowa.[133][134] On December 4th, Omer Styles died, son of D.W. Styles.[135] On December 18th, Noah Crane died, son of Geo W Crane.[136] On January 29th 1880, Nancy E Morris-Colburn died, wife of S.A. Colburn.[137] On April 9th, John T Talbot died.[138] On June 6th, Eola B Ford died, daughter of Johnson Parks Ford.[139] On July 26th, Mary Henrietta Tucker died, daughter of Lilburn Washington Boggs Tucker.[140]

Confirmed or Semi-Resident Since 1860-1880 Additional Information
Dora Adell Adams
Rev. C.V. Anthony
Nelson Archibald
Jasper T Baker With family. Druggist/pharmacist. Also in the 1880 census.
Christine Bell
Richard G Berry
Mr. Brackett
William Henry Burris
DeWitt Clinton Cheatham
Charles W Clark
G.W. Clute
S.A. Colburn
Rev. Warren Compton Presbyterian
Geo W Crane
A J Crawford
John Crockard
Mr. & Mrs. Davenport
Myra Almira Coe-Dewolf
Johnson Parks Ford
J.B. Fretwell
Thomas Gamlin
Solomon Peterson Gladden
Thornton T Hackett
T J Hames
Daniel Headrick
George Hobler
William Ingram
J.W. Johnston
Joseph Joel Lyall
Elisha Arnold Manning
Belle May
B.F. McGee
Thomas Jefferson McQuiddy
Philip Myers
Lou Oppenheimer From Germany. General merchandiser who owned Oppenheimer & Co. which was previously Philips & Wilson. Also in the 1880 census.
Joshua Samuel Phillips From England. Merchant and co-owner of Phillips & Wilson's, later Oppenheimer & Co. Also in the 1880 census.
unknown pioneer
John David Pursell Mussel Slough Five
Daniel Rhoads https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/LH34-99V
John Culberson Rice
E. Schoenfeld "E. Schoenfeld Peoples Store"
Daniel Spangler
Bertie Smith
Rev. William Smith Presbyterian
D W Styles
James Sutherland Kingston
John T Talbot
Lilburn Washington Boggs Tucker
Mrs. Matilda Vanvaler
Richard White
D T Wilcoxon
_ Wilson
Osborne Lamar Wilson
George Dobson Wood
Hannah Wood
William Henry Woodcock
Leugene Hamilton Wright
A. Young
Joseph B Yule
The "Mussel Slough Five", convicted in the wake of the tragedy. Taken in 1880 from the Kings County Library. Labeled: Back (from left): John J. Doyle and Wayman Leftrick Pryor. Front (from left): John David Pursell, James Patterson and William Braden.

In 1880, the Mussel Slough Tragedy gives names to local settlers involved. Wayman Leftrick Pryor, being one of the "Mussel Slough Five" and in the census, was also probably the only confirmed landowner from the incident in today's Hanford. James Harris was the brother of the landowner John W Harris. Others involved in the conflict are not confirmed whether or not their property counts to be in Hanford. Still, besides Pursell, their names were:

Marshal's group members Additional Information
Alonzo W. Poole U.S. Marshal
William H. Clark Railroad land grader
Walter J. Crow Settler (killed)
Mills Hartt Settler (killed)
Settlers' League members Additional Information
William Braden Mussel Slough Five
B. S. Burr
John J. Doyle Mussel Slough Five
James Harris Killed, brother of John W Harris
Edwin Haymaker Died of pneumonia soon after and was considered a victim of the fight
John Eldorado Henderson Killed
Daniel Kelly Killed
Iver Knutson Killed
Archibald McGregor Killed
W. L. Morton
James Nelson Patterson Leader, Mussel Slough Five. Lived in Lemoore in 1880, then Lucerne in 1900.
Wayman Leftrick Pryor Mussel Slough Five. Confirmed Hanford landowner in the 1880 census.

The 1880 census provides the names of many residents considered in the locality of Hanford, listed under 46 dwellings (with 3 hotels) and consisting of 269 people. This does not include what remained to be called "Mussel Slough" and several seemed to have only stayed at the hotels temporarily. Of those people, 223 were white, 44 were Chinese, and 2 were mulatto. Of the 223 whites, 9 were known-to-be or were likely Jewish. Excluding several previously listed above, most of these families were:

Resident in 1880 Additional Information
Rufus Abbott With family. He is remembered today as the city's attorney & Justice of Peace.[141]
Samuel Applegate Watchman who stayed at a hotel.
Milton Stout Babcock With wife. Attourney.
John Northrop Benedict Brother of Edwin. With his wife and daughter. Farmer.
Philip Beulo Stayed at a hotel
William Beyer From Frankfurt, Germany. Stationary engineer, likely stayed temporarily at a hotel.
Thomas Vance Biddle Grain dealer, possibly in the 1877 photograph.
Hiram Biegle With his children, second wife, and sister-in-law. Saloon keeper.
Francis Algene Blakely With wife and daughter. Tinsmith.
Lorenzo Waugh Blosser With wife and children. Blacksmith.
Thomas Andrew Bowden Farmer on the Hackett's farm.
Henry E Brown From England. With wife and sons. Jeweler.
Samuel T Burkhart Laborer
John Calan Laborer, stayed at a hotel
James William Carner Blacksmith
Kate E Carr Dressmaker. Likely temporarily stayed at a hotel on her way to Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Cartwright From England. Cook for the Davidson family.
Benjamin Foster Caswell House painter
Philip Castillo From Mexico. Apprentice carpenter of Mancilla.
Philander Chamberlin Carpenter
Charles Augustus Cheadle Laborer
George Cliff Engineer (likely for the train). Stayed at a hotel.
Joseph Cohn From Germany, likely Jewish. Store clerk.
Edward Colby Blacksmith
Asa P. Cole With wife. Farmer.
Thomas Cole Laborer, stayed at a hotel.
James Corbett From Ireland. Laborer, stayed at a hotel temporarily.
Thomas Corkery From Canada. With wife and children. Butcher.
Cora Daggs With sister. Hotel keeper (probably at Hanford Hotel).
John Albert Dahlem From Germany. With wife and daughter. Laborer.
Dr. John Abadie Davidson With wife and sons. Medical physician.
William Henry Diedrick With family. Blacksmith.
Frederick T Dillon Stable keeper
Benjamin Donager From Ireland. With wife. Railroad clerk and local station agent for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. He died 2 years later leaving a wife and son.
Samuel Doyle Laborer
Sarah F Duncan
William R Dykes Saloon keeper
Briceno Amendo Fassett Teacher
Henry Clinton Fidler Drugstore clerk
Carlos Samuel Flagg Butcher
Johnson Parks Ford Carpenter
Henry Hiner Freeman With wife and 2 sisters-in-law. Hotel keeper.
James M Fuller With wife and son. Blacksmith.
Zachariah Thomas Gilbert Farmer
James Anderson Hackett With wife and children. Farmer.
Oswald Horatio Cadwalader Harshbarger Store clerk
Thomas Haveland With wife. Section foreman for the railroad.
Daniel L. Healy Painter
Angelo Eugene Heinlen Butcher
Martin Hofman From Germany. With wife and children. Tinsmith.
Rosa (widow of Hogle) Cook for Mr. and Mrs. Babcock. She died later that year at the age of 22.
Adolphus D House With wife. Plasterer.
Patrick Andrew Hoy With wife Clara House (daughter of Adolphus) and son Edwin. Carpenter.
Chancey Jerome Hunt House carpenter
George Loff From England. With wife and daughters. Carriage maker.
Jacob James Manasse German/Polish Jew.[142] General merchant who owned a branch store for Simon Jacobs & Co. on 6th st between Harris and Douty.
José Benedito Mancilla From Chile. Carpenter.
Joseph Mathews Mulatto. Barber
Mary McDonald Maid
Charles Homer McJunkin Butcher
John Henry Melone General merchandiser
Margaret A Miot Mulatto though also recorded as black. She was likely born a slave or to a slaver in Virginia, then went to New Orleans as a servant where she may have gotten her surname. She eventually served in the Motheral's household and died in Hanford 5 years later.
Joseph R Mitchel Carpenter
Rev. Nathan William Motheral With wife and children. Preacher who expanded the congregation and had the First Presbyterian Church built.
William Jasper Niswonger House carpenter, cousin of Elijah.
Elijah Nyswonger House carpenter, cousin of William.
Almont W Parker Saloon keeper
Sophia Parker Hotel keeper
Thomas Foster Pegg With wife Belzora Abbott (daughter of Rufus). Hotel keeper.
Earl Otho Perry With wife and children. Drayman.
Elijah James Plummer With wife and 2 daughters. Postmaster.
John Gill Pope Store clerk
James McClelland Reid Saloon keeper
William Robinson Stayed at a hotel, likely unemployed.
William R Robinson From England. Farmer.
William Ryan From Ireland. Laborer.
Leavitt Riley Sanborn Store clerk
Andrew Sciaroni From Swizerland. Saloon keeper.
Charles F Sharp With brother. Hardware merchant.
Charles Harvey Sherwin From Canada. With wife and son. Farmer.
Kaufmann Simon From Germany, likely Jewish. Cigar merchant.
George W Slight From England. Painter.
Lewis Perry Smith Store clerk
Noah Horace Spencer With wife and children. Fire insurance agent.
Harry Raynold Stevens With wife and children. Carpenter.
Richard Stunton From Ireland. Shoemaker.
Frank E Taylor With children. Saloon keeper.
Cornelius Wasgatt House carpenter
Jacob Weisbaum Polish Jew. With family.[143] Shoemaker.
Mattie Whitworth
Charles Frazier Wilson With wife and children. Wagon maker.
Edwin M Wilson With son. House painter. Lived with Charles Wilson.
Frank Wilson House carpenter
Hugh Wilson With wife. Store clerk.
Richard W Wilson Saloon keeper
John Wolf Park keeper
John Woods
M Berry Yocum Farmer

The remaining 44 Chinese residents (majority male) have uncertain documentation due to linguistic communication issues. The census-taker recorded most of their surnames as "Ah" which is a Cantonese prefix for a nickname so the given names themselves might also be incorrect.[144] Many likely only lived there temporarily to work on the railroad. The Sam Yup Chinese Cemetery, where some may be buried since the 1890s, is not yet transcribed online.[145] It can be assumed most were Taoist due to the temple later constructed. Regardless, their names in the census appear as:

Chinese Resident in 1880 Other Information
Sam Lee Cook
Jong Lee
Yung Lang
Sam Wong
Yan Tue
Chang Jong Laundryman
Ar Way
(Ah) Gong
Julie
(Ah) Long
(Ah) Fork
Leong
Gee Lee Laundryman
Charlie
Yeng (Ah)
Dan (Ah)
My (Ah)
Jeong (Ah)
Get (Ah)
Fof (Ah)
Mun (Ah)
Long Joo Store Keeper
Koon (Ah)
War (Ah)
Gen (Ah) Gardener
Yung (Ah)
(Ah) John
Jong Sing Laundyman
Mary
War Gou Jung Laundyman
(Ah) Hop
(Ah) Lun
(Ah) Ju
(Ah) Jun
(Ah) Gun
(Ah) Pek
(Ah) Cleo
(Ah) Gung
(Ah) Mon
Ay Toys
Hong Pana
(Ah) Charlie
(Ah) Ben
(Ah) You

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