Fay Watson Batten


Though comparatively a young man, Fay Watson Batten has achieved very satisfactory results both in business and in farming, which have won him the respect and confidence of the community where he has attained to positions of honor and trust. The son of Luther and Helen (Hermance) Batten, he is now the only living member of the family. Fay was born at Raymond, Nebraska on July 16, 1894 and when a babe in arms was brought to Dos Palos, California and he attended the Reynolds Avenue School, then had two years in high school and one year at the College of the Pacific in San Jose, California. He was always associated with his father in business matters and some time before his father died he was managing the ranch.

The father owned 160 acres, and this property is now owned by our subject and is devoted to alfalfa, dairying, and gardening. From 1919 to 1922, Mr. Batten and Frank Allen were partners in a grocery in DosPalos, California.

Mr. Batten has been twice married. His first wife was Mabel E. Birkhead, born in Troy, Lincoln County, MIssouri, on September 4, 1889, the daughter of Shapely and Mollie Birkhead, who brought their family to California in 1895 and settled in Tulare County, California. Their marriage was celebrated on June 18 , 1913. They had three children born to them, only one now living, Fay Elizabeth. Mary Helen died in infancy and Luther Batten died on May 17, 1922, aged five years. The wife and mother passed away on December 21, 1918 and her loss was keenly felt by all who knew her.

The second marriage of Mr. Batten, uniting him with Eleanore Sargent, took place on September 1, 1923. She is the daughter of John Emory and Elizabeth (Pitts) Sargent, natives of Ohio and California, respectively. Grandfather Pitts was an early settler in California, coming soon after the end of the Civil War. J.E. Sargent is a lumberman and has a yard at Upland, California, where he and his wife make their home. One sister, Mrs, Katherine Matthews, lives in San Francisco. Mrs. Batten was educated in Pomona College and taught school in Dos Palos prior to her marriage. Besides looking after his ranch interests, Mr. Batten is acting as agent for the Ford and Lincoln automobiles and the Fordson tractor. In 1922 he was elected as a member of the Dos Palos Grammar School board and served as clerk. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and is non-partisan in his politics. For several years he did considerable work with the Boys' Agricultural Club and was active in the Farm Bureau. Mrs. Batten belongs to the Dos Palos Women's Improvement Club."


History of Merced County California With a Biographical Review OF The Leading Men and Woman of the County Who Have Been Identified with Its Growth and Development from Early Days to the Present

Author: John Outcalt (1925)  

Contributed by: Carol Lackey