The following is from the book by Delilah L. Beasley, "The Negro Trail Blazers of California", 1919, page 153.
A Compilation of Records from the California Archives in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Old Pioneers in the State of California. This book was reprinted in 1969.
1919 - "Fowler, California, is one of the most interesting districts in the San Joaquin Valley. The holdings of the colored people in the district prove beyond a doubt that they are capable of pioneering.
Mr. Reuben Wysinger, a native son, owns a good ranch of fifteen acres planted in Muscat, Tompkins and seedless raisin grapes. These grapes yield, on an average, a ton to the acre and are marketed for $50 to $100 an acre. He also has a peach orchard of the "Muir" and "Alberta" peaches which yield two tons to the acre and sell all the way from $100 to $150 an acre.
Mr. Wysinger and two other colored gentlemen, realizing the possibilities of this section of California in the fruit industry, decided to procure a plot of land while the price was within their reach. They purchased a plot of eighty acres, paying $100 down and in five months paying another hundred dollars, which entitled them to a deed, with five years in which to pay the remaining indebtedness at 10 per cent interest. They paid twenty dollars an acre at the date of purchase, some fifteen years ago . Today one could not buy the same ground for several hundred dollars an acre. After securing the deed to the plot each man settled on his share and began the cultivation of the laud. It will be impossible to give the experience of every one of the gentlemen, but that of Mr. Wysinger can safely be taken as an example of them all. His experience and perseverance show what one can do with a will.
He was employed during the day. After night, with the assistance of his wife, he planted his peach orchard and vineyard. Owing to their lack of experience, it required years of hard work before they were able to secure a crop of anything. They never faltered and finally conquered, and today they have a wonderful ranch that any one in the valley would be proud to own. The best part of it all is, they own a beautiful, modern home and an automobile from the products of a well-paying ranch.
They have a family of three children [Vera, Ethel & Vossa], to whom they are giving the best education that the State affords. They are also giving them actual experience in ranch life, so that, if they wish, they can remain on the ranch and be independent."
by Delilah L. Beasley, 1919
Photo: Reuben's son Vossa Edward Wysinger, Sr., age 22 (1917)
b. January 17, 1895 - d. March 21, 1987
Married Kathleen Boatman - born August 14, 1900
California San JoaquinValley Pioneers
The Valley's Legends & Legacies IV, by Catherine Morison Rehart,
page 127, (2002)
Reuben and Cornelia Wysinger
7th Judicial Township, County of Fresno, State of California
1910 United States Federal Census
Lived on Washington Avenue
Reuben (husband), age 39, occupation farmer - born January 11, 1871 in Elbow Creek, California
Mr. Jordan Young came from Columbia, South Carolina, December 21, 1891, locating at Fowler, California at the suggestion of his sister, Mrs. Julia Bell. He passed the station going to Fresno, which was ten miles away. It cost thirty cents to return to Fowler and he only had thirty-five, so he walked. He soon secured work and in a few years sent back for his family which consisted of a wife and seven children. After this he began to save and buy property. He bought a city block for four hundred dollars, retaining the same until the town began to grow, when he sold twenty-two lots for $2,500 and bought eleven more for $700. He then made a vow that none of his children should marry until they owned a home. At this writing Mr. Young owns a ranch of 160 acres of well-improved property, aside from valuable city holdings. His daughters, Mrs. Reuben Wysinger and Mrs. Abernathy, of Bowles, all own valuable holdings as also does one son. Dr. Benjamin Young, who has graduated from both the University of California and a University in Chicago, recently locating in Fowler to practice medicine.
One of the valley's first African American farming families is reuniting in Fowler this weekend for the family's 30th reunion. And this year, the Young's are also celebrating another special milestone. Thelma Wilson Young turned 100 years old this month.