Page 20 - Reams/Hibbits/Arkley Genealogy

John Hibbits

John Hibbits and family arrived in Lompoc, California in May, 1881 travelling form Nebraska to San Francisco by train.

Arriving in Lompoc, they were welcomed by James Harris and his wife Susan who had lived in Nebraska. For two years they occupied a house near the town and Jack as he was called, did carpenter work. In 1883 he took up 160 acres of government land 8 miles north, farmed some 60 acres and raised cattle. He and his wife immediately joined with other neighbors in forming a school district covering more than 100 square miles, tho the school rarely had more than a dozen pupils.

A one room school house was built with two ante-rooms with a hall between. A teacher rarely stayed more than two terms (1 year) and often only one. The school was ungraded and every pupil advanced as fast as he was able. We carried water in a pail more than a quarter of a mile and the school equipment consisted of a few maps, a dictionary and a globe. Home made desks at first and pupils furnished all books and pencils - some paper, ink and crayon were furnished by the school. Guy and I finished the ninth grade there and entered the High School in Lompoc. Guy went for one year and I for three. I then stayed at home a year and took an examination in Santa Barbara for teacher's certificate, passed second highest but being only 17 could not teach for another year.

In January 1898, began teaching in a tiny shack in the Aguaje District, with 7 pupils, taught 8 months. About that time we moved back to the Lompoc Valley and lived on the Shoultz farm one mile north of town on H. Street. Guy worked at different things and finally bought the Carter farm, three miles from town on the east side of the Santa Ynez River. He married a Maine girl, Jennie Silsby in 1904. He was always as boy and man, of sterling honesty, good tempered, kind, progressive, a good neighbor and a good citizen.

In the fall of 1896, I became engaged to the young man I had been "going with" for some time (It might interest my posterity to know that event occurred on a buggy ride on a foggy night behind a horse that insisted on going like the wind at all times - no sitting on the lines possible). About that time a serious drouth began which lasted for several years. Times were hard for everyone.

Charles and John Arkley had been in the livery stable business in Lompoc for a few years but there not being enough profit in it for three partners (Charles was married with one son) John accepted a position with the newly elected County Sheriff, Nat Stewart, as a deputy, to work at the courthouse in charge of the chain gang and to serve in other capacities.