memorable occasions in Doe's life he called to mind. He remembered a peddler
that came to the Oirvis farm at Oakfield, Wisconsin, and told his father of
President Lincoln being shot. Mr. and Mrs. orvis were stunned at the news. He
himself felt just as shocked and outraged by the blowing up of the battleship
"Maine" in Ifavana harbour in 1898.
And there was that
memorable day when he received a telegram reading: "Doctor Orvis hurry
horse has high fever " The call came from William Snow, 'at
Farmington, twenty five miles east of Stockton.
Dr. Orvis hastened
to answer the summons; the Snows were regional pioneers.
William Snow had
started the farm in 1873 and by diligent effort developed it into a grain
growing investment. Mr. Snow also raised high grade horses for shows, fairs, and
market demands. The fever stricken animal was one of the farm's best bloods. One
of the persons " most concerned about the mare's condition was Miss Ada,
the Snows only daughter.
After their first
meeting she was much in Charles Orvis' mind. He wanted to know her better. As
the romance progressed each realized that it was to be a permanent union. On
November 11th, 1891, they were married.
The wedding was a
social event. The Stockton newspaper published the guest and gift list and
stated that the newlyweds would make their home in Stockton.
Through the years
Orvis gained great prestige in his profession. He did research, originated
techniques, and pioneered in surgery. A horse afflicted with vocal cord
paralysis emitted a roaring sound when it was running, or breathing hard with
pasture activity. Dr. Orvis silenced it by surgery that removed its paralyzed
cords. He was first to spay heifers, a practice unheard of in California; yet he
spayed thousands of heifers to advance the breeding research project.
In 1896 Dr. Orvis
sold his office and business to Dr. Francis H. Saunders, a veterinary who was to
occupy the 336 Layfayette Street facility and carry on in the best Orvis
tradition for over thirty years.
Dr. Orvis bought
the old Snow homestead and he, his wife and his son William moved to the farm
surroundings where Ada had been raised as a girl. It was a happy homecoming for
The retirement from
practice gave Dr. Orvis the time and opportunity to enjoy hobbies, sports, and
to work more intensively on livestock research.
He had always loved
flowers that were so much a part of California's charm and beauty. He grew
blossoms varieties in a farm beautifying effort. He understood the values of
seed breeding and plant cultures. He experimented with feed crops from abroad.
Snow Farm became
Snow Ranch when Orvis expanded on livestock breeding. The love of fine horses
was inherited by his son William, and later passed on as an endowment to the
grandchildren that now carry on the Snow Ranch operations. Their training was
Dr. Orvis' most satisfying pastime.
For years Dr.
Orvis ran sheep on their range while he bred for grades of wool types of mutton,
and superior lambs. By raising sheep and hogs much of the food and fiber
grown in the fields were channeled to the markets through the feeding projects
upgrading the product for the packers.
In 1916 Dr. Orvis
and his son, William Orvis, formed a partnership aimed at the Hereford field.
The aimless cattle growing over past decades had built up bovine numbers on the
west slope but not quality. Orvis loved the curly headed white-faced type, and
planned breeding, toward a Hereford registry and standard in the region. The
overproduction of hybrids kept prices down until war demands created a seller's
In 1917 William
Orvis was married to Miss Grace Harper and the couple made their home at the
Snow Ranch. They were to raise three sons and a daughter, named Bin, Jim, Bruce,
and Betty Orvis. The children brought joy and inspiration to their grandparents.
Bill Orvis, a pilot, was to give his life in World War 11.
go back a little in time, the war demands of 1917-18 called for farm and range
production at Snow Ranch and the civic responsibility that Dr. Orvis accepted as
a community leader.
In 1919 Dr. Orvis
and William Clinger, of Stockton, embarked on a hog raising venture to level off
in postwar stability. This called for the scouting and study of breeds, the
acquiring of definitive information on the marketing of carcasses, feeding and
weight making tests, and a successful production program.
Dr. Orvis kept
books and records on such matters, which gave him high rating in breeder
research fields. Orvis & Clinger were so productive in the hog growing
project that after five years they bought the Maisel Meat Company facility and
added wholesale slaughtering to their operations.
In 1940 the firm
built a modern Locker Plant in connection with the meat business and in 1942
this Locker facility had to be enlarged. At present this branch of the Orvis
industry is managed by J. Victor Cooper of Stockton. Mrs. Cooper is the Doctor's
granddaughter, Betty Orvis.
(Continued Page 6)