Author: John Outcalt (1925)


The Bunker family, represented in Merced County by William E. Bunker, extensive agriculturist, were citizens of New England for many years. The father
of our subject, Nathaniel Emmons Bunker, left Massachusetts to seek a new location and settled in Minnesota where he took up government land, on which he farmed. After a few years he came farther west to Nevada and became a pioneer of that State and for several years served as a member of the State legislature. He married Miss Elizabeth B. Dunning, also of New England birth, and by this union six children were born, namely: Minnie E., deceased; Charles E., lives in San Francisco; William E., the subject of this review; Fred E.; Sadie, the wife of J. St. Clair; and David T. In 1868 the parents came to the West Side of the San Joaquin Valley settling in the Cottonwood district; from time to time land was purchased until they farmed 3000 acres of deeded and rented land besides range lands. Here large bands of sheep, hundreds of cattle and great quantities of grain were raised. A few years prior to his death the father moved to Oakland, and there he passed away at the age of seventy-six years; the mother passed away at Modesto, in December 1924, at the age of seventy-seven.

William E. Bunker was born on October 14, 1873, in the Cottonwood district of Merced County and at the district school adjacent to his father's ranch he first attended school; later when the family removed to Oakland he also attended school there. In young manhood he became associated with his father in farming and after his father's death the estate was divided among the heirs and Mr. Bunker farms his share consisting of about 500 acres, a portion of which lies in the Cottonwood district. Of recent years he has leased a part of his ranch for dairy purposes, retaining an interest in the business, his share of the dairy herd being about 120 head. His herd sire came from the Bridgeford Holstein Farm at Patterson and Mr. Bunker is gradually bringing his stock to a registered herd. Mr. Bunker has a walnut orchard of five acres on the home place, and walnut trees have been contracted for to set out 100 acres more; he has an orchard of fifty acres of black Mission figs and fifteen acres in walnuts on a ranch at the south edge of the Cottonwood district.

September 2, 1903, in the Cottonwood district of Merced County, Mr. Bunker was married to Miss Rose T. Pfitzer, born at San Felipe, Cal., daughter of Anthony and Theresa (Mayr), both natives of Germany. They were pioneers of California and came to the San Luis district of Merced County in 1868 where he owned extensive range lands and engaged extensively in the sheep business. There are nine children in this family: Frank; Joseph; Mary, Mrs. Domengine; Julia, Mrs. McCabe; Anthony; Rose T., the wife of our subject; William; Clarice; and Louis. Mr. and Mrs. Bunker have three children, Edwin, Jack, and Elizabeth. Upon the death of Geo. H. Whitworth, Mr. Bunker was appointed by Governor Richardson to fill the unexpired term of two years as supervisor of the Fourth District of Merced County. During the World War, Mr. Bunker leased his ranch and removed to Merced and for two years served on the exemption board. He is a member of theWalnut Growers' Association and a director in the Bank of Gustine. Since 1913 Mr. Bunker has served as clerk of the Gustine High School board and is also a trustee of the Gustine Grammar School; since 1919 he has been the president of the Chamber of Commerce. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bunker are Republicans. Fraternally, Mr. Bunker is a member of Hills Ferry Lodge, No. 236, F. & A. M., at Newman; Modesto Chapter No. 49, R. A. M.; Modesto Commandery No. 57, K. T., and Aahmes Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., at Oakland.

Additional Comments:

Biographical Review
The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been
Identified with Its Growth and Development
from the Early Days to the Present



File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
Joy Fisher February 6, 2006, 12:28 am