Two longtime Hughson families, the Beekmans and the Frasers, will be honored at the Hughson Historical Society's annual dinner set for Saturday, Aug. 19.
The dinner will be held at Hughes Hall, 7820 Fox Road, Hughson, beginning with a 6 p.m. social hour. Tickets are $30 and must be purchased in advance by calling Tess (883-4882), Jean (883-2483) or Doris (606-8360). Tickets may also be purchased at the August 2 Historical Society meeting (7 p.m. at the museum on Main Street at the corner of Charles Street and Hughson Avenue).
Shortly after her third birthday in 1912, Laura Belle Foote Beekman arrived in Hughson with her grandparents and parents. Laura Belle's father Frank A. Foote, traveled with the horses, building supplies and Laura Belle's cat, by train from Pasadena. The rest of the family arrived by Model T, setting up camp and unloading the horses off the train to make their first journey to their Geer Road property. They had led a beautiful life in Pasadena, living two blocks from the famous route of the Rose Parade but news of promised irrigated land brought them to begin a new life in Hughson. Frank and his father-in-law Jessie Foster both worked on the land of others and yearned to own land they could farm. Laura Belle's early years and her children's, were truly the essence of what life in Hughson was all about in the beginning. Struggles, tragedy and perseverance helped build strong roots and a sixth generation to call Hughson home.
Ken and Carol (Rapp) Fraser were raised in Denair and Turlock respectively but did not meet until friends introduced them at a Cal Football game in Berkeley while they were attending college. After a short courtship, they married and soon had two sons Jack in 1935 and Tom in 1937 while going to school but were forced to move back to the valley because of the lasting affects of the Depression in 1939. They settled in Hughson where they raised turkeys with Carol's parents on their ranch on Whitmore Avenue and in 1942 bought their property on Geer Road where they continued to raise turkeys and started the Fraser Farms Jersey Dairy. In 1945, their daughter Jane was born and eight years later Keith joined the family. The dairy was a whole family operation and at one point they had 500 registered purebred Jerseys which they milked by hand. Ken and Carol enjoyed being active in the Hughson community and their kids' lives while also attending all the local fairs to show their cherished jerseys. Life was full but not easy for the Fraser's with Jack contracting polio in 1954 and then six years later losing Ken to a heart attack. Carol continued to raise her family in Hughson where many of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren continue to call home.