Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fresno in Fresno County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Moses J. Church

 
 
Moses J. Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, circa April 2007
1. Moses J. Church Marker
Located at the Fresno Irrigation District Office.
Inscription. The Father of Fresno Irrigation. He was born in New York State in 1819, became a blacksmith and emigrated to California in 1852. He came to Fresno County in 1868 and employed by A. Y. Easterby, built the first irrigation system for lush fields of wheat, which in 1872 prompted Central Pacific to survey a townsite here called Fresno. Directing the Fresno Canal and Irrigation Co., he built hundreds of miles of canals, located hundreds of settlers on farms, expanded cultivation and forged Fresno's favored Kings River water right. He died March 20, 1900 in Calaveras County.
 
Erected 1976 by E Clampus Vitus. (Marker Number 20.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 11614° 28′ N, 12535° 34′ W. Marker was in Fresno, California, in Fresno County. Marker could be reached from South Maple Avenue south of East Edgar Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. The marker has been moved from easy public view. It is now located at the front entrance to the new building. The only way to view the marker is to enter the Fresno Irrigation District grounds and drive to near the entrance
Moses J. Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, December 9, 2014
2. Moses J. Church Marker
3rd location for this marker, just outside the entrance to the Fresno Irrigation District offices.
to the new building. Marker was at or near this postal address: 2907 South Maple Avenue, Fresno CA 93725, United States of America.
 
More about this marker. This is the third move since it was dedicated in 1976
 
Regarding Moses J. Church. Moses J Church started the irrigation canals well before the city of Fresno was even considered. As a result of the water being brought to the valley, both the cities of Fresno and Clovis came about because the area became such a bountiful agricultural area leading the railroads to bring their lines into the valley. As a result, Moses Church is recognized on this marker, on another marker in downtown Fresno (Church-Sperry Mill), and in a large marker next to his gravesite in Mountain View Cemetery put up by his friend Fulton Berry that recognizes Church as "The Father of Fresno Irrigation." He also raised sheep, and became part of the "Cattle Versus Sheep" wars of the late 1800's. Always a peaceful man, he walked away from many fights and survived several attempts by cattlemen to kill him.

The Church-Sperry Marker was rededicated on September 6, 2013 just outside the back door of the Fresno Water Tower. A second re-dedication stone tells the story that the Church-Sperry mill stood 437 feet west of the water tower.
 
Also see . . .
Moses J. Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, circa April 2007
3. Moses J. Church Marker
Picture taken from an access road in front of the Fresno Irrigation District front door.
 Moses Church. A Find-A-Grave posting offering additional biographical information and additional photos. (Submitted on February 26, 2010.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Moses J Church marker
The Fresno Irrigation District recently moved the marker from the lawn and have it in storage. No information yet on what will be done with it. The marker remains the property of E Clampus Vitus and should be replaced or moved to another suitable location if the Fresno Irrigation District no longer wants it on their property.
    — Submitted October 27, 2014, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.

 
Categories. AgricultureMan-Made FeaturesNotable PersonsWaterways & Vessels
 
Fresno Scraper image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, circa 2007
4. Fresno Scraper
A Fresno Scraper sits right next to the Moses J Church marker on the Fresno Irrigation District property. The brass plaque reads: "The Fresno Scraper" Patented in 1885 by James Porteous, this horsedrawn earthmover was used extensively in canals that comprise the Fresno Irrigation District system. Donated by Jerry Cave in honor of his father Hubert H. Cave, Sanger, CA. No date is given
Moses J. Church Marker From Outside the Fence image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, circa June 2005
5. Moses J. Church Marker From Outside the Fence
This is all you will see if you show up on a weekend, the marker faces in towards the Irrigation District front door, and only the back is visible from the street while the gates are locked on the facility.
Moses J. Church image. Click for full size.
The History of Fresno County by Paul E Vandor published 1919, circa 1880
6. Moses J. Church
Church-Sperry Mill & Mill Ditch image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson
7. Church-Sperry Mill & Mill Ditch
Another marker commemorating Moses Church. The Church-Sperry Marker was rededicated on September 6, 2013 just outside the back door of the Fresno Water Tower. A second re-dedication stone tells the story that the Church-Sperry mill stood 437 feet west of the water tower.
Moses J Church Marker at Mountain View Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson
8. Moses J Church Marker at Mountain View Cemetery
This Monument to "The Father of Fresno Irrigation" was erected by his friend Fulton Berry. It is located near his headstone at the cemetery.
Re-Re-Dedication of the Moses J Church marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, December 9, 2014
9. Re-Re-Dedication of the Moses J Church marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. This page has been viewed 2,218 times since then and 63 times this year. Last updated on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.   2. submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.   3. submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.   4. submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.   5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.   9. submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on March 13, 2017.
Paid Advertisement