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James Milton Setliff
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Birth: Mar. 8, 1854
Moore County
Tennessee, USA
Death: May 15, 1953
Tulare County
California, USA

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Tulare Advance Register..........June 15, 1953.........Front page with a his picture

James M. Setliff, Pioneer, Dies at 89

Death came early today to James M Setliff.. 89 year old pioneer Tulare farmer. Setliff frst came to Tulare in 1885, one year before the historic fire of 1886 wiped out the city's entire business district.

Famed for his stories of old time Tulare, Setlif liked to recall when the busy downtown street corner, now occupid by Hotel Tulare was an open field with sunflowers growing 10 feet high. The fire of 1886 was another of his favorite subjects, and he enjoyed telling how while helping to restore the Tulare buliness district, after the conflageration, he carried 10,000 bricks a day for $2.50 a day, which was considered a high wage at the time.

Only yesterday, Setliff had gone for an automobile ride with his son, Guy, through the agricultural area betweem Tulare and Tipton. Last night he and his son attended the Jalopy races at Visalia Speedway. An ardent Jalopy race fan, Setliff seemed to enjoy hinself even more than usual last night, his son said, and remarked as he stepped out of the car in front of his home that he "never felt better"

Shortly after, however, Setliff's stepdaughter, Miss Loretta Nicholson, notced him setting uncomfortably in a chair at the home on 137 No. E. Street. He told her he felt "miserable" and she immediatly called the doctor. Setliff was rushed to a local hospital where he was placed under an oxygen tent at 12:01 a. m. He died half an hour later.

Funeral services are being arranged by Gobel Funeral Chapel. and will be announced later. Surviving are his widow Azalia Setliff, Tulare, two sons Guy Setliff, Tulare and Roland J. Setliff, New York City; A daughter Mrs. R. E. (Nannie) Working. Long Beach, a stepdaughter, Miss Loretta Nicholson, Tulare; a brother Joe Setliff, Lynchburg Tenn., a sister Miss Daisye Setliff, of Lynchburg, and three grandchildren, James and Raymon Working, and Mrs. Dorothy Setliff Lenz all of Long Beach.

Setliff was a charter member of the Tulare Eagles Lodge, and also a member of Woodmen of the World, and the First Christian Church.

Setliff was born March 8, 1864 in Lynchburg, Tenn., the son of Dr. Abraham Setliff who won fame in the Civil War. He left Tenn. at the age of 21 to come to California and settled in Kern County for a time, before making his perminant residence in Tulare in 1885. Interviewed on his 88th birthday last year, Setliff discribed Tulare as he first saw it when he stepped of the train here in 1885. "K street near what is now the Southern Pacific freight station consisted of three or four boarding houses, and one beer parlor." he recalled, "with sunflower fields sprinkled freely amid the few buildings. Front street was not much different, with two or three groceries and a beer parlor.

Setliff farmed in the Buena Vista district for 55 years of his residence here. He purchased his first farm in 1887 after working for two years as a laborer and hired hand. When he sold is interest in 1941, he was working 2 farms of 80 and 70 acres, specializing in livestock and dairying, raising cattle, horses and hogs.

Family links: 
  Nancy Elizabeth Gulley Setliff (1872 - 1898)*
  Azzalia Gulley Setliff (1882 - 1961)*
  Guy Murlen Setliff (1894 - 1961)*
  Nanna J Setliff Working (1898 - 1976)*
  Loretta Nicholson (1902 - 1977)*
*Calculated relationship
Tulare Cemetery
Tulare County
California, USA
Plot: EAST 8 15 1
Created by: Audrey DeCamp Hoffman
Record added: Sep 25, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77075614
James Milton Setliff
Added by: Audrey DeCamp Hoffman
James Milton Setliff
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Pam Kantola
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

I'm leaving a sunflower, reminiscent of a pioneer's early-day memories of Tulare, California, as quoted in his obituary. Thank you, Audrey, for the wonderful work you've done documenting and sharing these historic materials.
- Myra Lois Setliff Booth Reece
 Added: Jun. 7, 2012

- Audrey DeCamp Hoffman
 Added: Dec. 19, 2011
May God Grant you always, A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering Angel , so nothing can harm you, Laughter to cheer you Faithful friends near you, and whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you (An Irish Prayer.)
- Audrey DeCamp Hoffman
 Added: Oct. 30, 2011

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