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December 4, 2009

Chester H. Warlow

Along Route 99 there are three rest areas. The Chester H. Warlow rest stop near Kingsburg is the only one that is not a pair of rest stops; that is, north or southbound, you go off to the east side of 99 to get to the rest stop.
Route 99 Rest Stops

It was recently rehabbed and probably because of that I noticed this memorial plaque for the first time.
Chester H. Warlow Memorial Rest Area (4898)

I set off on a search to find out who he was. On this page there's a photo of the plaque from 2007, proving it was there before the rehab. The photographer says there's another plaque near the Marin County end of the Golden Gate Bridge, but I didn't find any other references to that. Bay Area readers, if you can point me to a photo of that plaque, I would appreciate it.

Photos of the rest stop here.

From a history of Fresno County:

Chester H. Warlow, the youngest of the four children, was born on June 3, 1889 and was only six months old when he came to Fresno with his parents. He attended the grammar schools and then went to the Kemper Military Academy at Boonville, Mo., one of the best military schools of its size in the country, from which he was graduated in 1906. He then entered the Leland Stanford University and took the prelegal course and was graduated in 1911 with the degree of A.B.; and in the fall of that year he matriculated at the Harvard Law School, at Cambridge, Mass. For a year there he specialized in law, and the following year returned to Leland Stanford and completed the Stanford Law School course. When he graduated, as a member of the Class of '13, he received the degree of Doctor of Law.

Returning to Fresno, Mr. Warlow entered the law office of his father, and father and son formed the partnership of Warlow & Warlow. At the opening of the World War, Chester volunteered in the regular army, and was sent to Kelley Field, Texas; and later on he was assigned to the One Hundred Fifth Aero Squadron there, where he attained to the rank of First Lieutenant. He was honorably discharged on December 24, 1918, and arrived home on the following New Year's Day. The first of February he opened his law office at 812 Griffith-McKenzie Building, and since then has been busy at the commencement of his independent career in which, it is safe to say, he will ably and conscientiously maintain the enviable traditions of his honored father.

The San Joaquin Light and Power Magazine for Consumers and Employees of January 1914 published this poem by Chester H. Warlow:

An Invitation

Oh! Where is the land that God forgot?
  Some said 'twas Coalinga, you know,
But that was before all the drilling;
  Yes, that was long years ago.

You of the City, at present
  Would say He'd forgotten it still.
But what do you know of the Oil Fields—
  What do you know of a drill?

You've never had your hands grimy,
  Covered thick with black-blue oil.
You have never lived in the open;
  You think of this life as toil.

You have never heard the sand line
  Go singing against the rim
Of the great big twelve-inch casing,
  As the bailer went plunging down in.

You have never sat in the evening
  When the moon lit the derrick towers
And seen all the field lights gleaming;
  Just sat there passing the hours.

You've not heard the puffs of the engines,
  So quiet they seemed but a part
Of the magnitude of the Evening.
  Why, man! What's become of your heart?

If you cannot love our oil fields,
  It's because you don't understand.
You've been cooped up in the City
  'Till your life's throttled down by its hand.

Come out with us 'mid the derricks,
  Be it Kreyenhagen or Oil City lease,
Come out to a life worth living,
  Come out where there's quiet and peace.

Then you'll not say God has forgotten,
  If you're tired of living, my friend;
Come with me to our Oil Fields,
  Life will be worth living then.

Chester H. Warlow
A photo of Chester Warlow
from the Shaver Lake Fishing Club.

Below is how he looked in 1951:
Chester H. Warlow

Mt. Warlow in Kings Canyon National Park is named for him.
Unnamed Lake and Mount Warlow
Photo by Sierralara of Mt. Warlow.

From CalTrans:

WARLOW, CHESTER H. : Chester H. Warlow (1889-1963) was an attorney, civic leader, and conservationist who played an important role in the building of highways to Sequoia National Park and Kings River Canyon. He also served as a member of the California Highway Commission for 20 years. Mount Warlow in Fresno County is named for him, as is the Safety Roadside Rest Area off of Route 99 at Dodge Avenue in Tulare County.

| permalink | December 4, 2009 at 12:42 PM


Thank you so much for your research

Posted by: Mary Farney at Apr 14, 2022 10:13:24 PM

Nice work, Ron; thank you.

Posted by: Earl Marble at Dec 7, 2009 3:37:30 PM

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