Joseph Warren Sumner
Judge Sumner, as he was known to everyone in the Kern River Valley, was justice of the peace in Kernville for 40 years, from 1870 to 1910, one year before he died at 92. In those days, justices received no salary. Instead they got their pay from the fines they charged for offenses an Sumner was noted for his creativity in finding ways to collect his pay.
He is equally known for his ownership of the Sumner Mine, later called the Big Blue Mine. (The manner in which the was unearthed is one of the favorite stories in Kern County history: A prospector named Lovely Rogers discovered it in 1860 while looking a stray mule.) The Big Blue was the most productive and profitable mine in the area for the next 25 years. It attracted even more minders and investors to the area, many of whom settled in the Kern River Valley.
Early days in Kern / by Eugene Burmeister
Bakersfield, CA : Cardon House, 1963
Birth: Jan. 3, 1819
Death: Mar. 29, 1911
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Los Angeles County
Plot: Chandler Gardens