The Bigelows have appeared in local newspapers for more than 100 years. They are a pioneer family of long standing, and have contributed heavily to the economic and political life of this area.
Harmon and Leota Bigelow settled in the O’Neals area in the late 1800s and established a sheep and cattle ranch along with a stage line. Later Harmon strung some wires in the trees so his wife could talk to a friend some miles away, and presto, the Ponderosa Telephone Co. was born.
Harmon’s son, Calvin Bigelow, ran for a seat on the first Board of Supervisors after Madera County was created. He was also a constable of considerable renown in the foothills.
Calvin’s son, Jesse Bigelow, continued the family’s frontier enterprises, and today his son, Frank, is carrying on the family’s tradition of county leadership. He is running to represent the 5th Assembly District...