HYDER, Grover Cleveland “Cleve”

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Cleve Hyder driving the hay wagon, c. 1918
Santa Barbara Island:
1920’s Hyder Family hay crop
Cleve Hyder shearing sheep on Santa Barbara Island, c. 1918

HYDER, Grover Cleveland “Cleve” (1884-1959) and Margaret [1887-1977] Hyder lived on Santa Barbara Island with Alvin Hyder and his family after the turn of the century.

Cleve was described by his nephew, Buster Hyder: “My uncle Cleve lived in a little house down below us [on Santa Barbara Island], about half-way up from the Landing Cove. It was just one big room—the bedroom and kitchen was together. He was over here mostly for lobster fishin’. Just Cleve and Margaret, his wife, lived here. They never had any children. Cleve was the youngest of the litter of twelve kids. All Missourians. He was quite a guy. My Aunt Margaret taught school—taught us kids school there… Cleve had tanks around his house to catch his water. He caught it off all the roofs. In the wintertime he had trouble with the water comin’ down around his house because it was built in a gully. He used to have a great big ditch for runoff. You can still see a rock pile where his house was. He had a clothes line right across the gully, and one time, my dad and I came down one day, and Cleve had two rabbits hangin’ on the line that he had skinned. My dad jumped on him and says, ‘I don’t mind you getting’ one rabbit, but you got two of ‘em. What are you goin’ to do with the other?’ Cleve says, ‘Just take a look. They ain’t two rabbits there. It’s only one.’ So I remember my dad says, ‘What—do you think I’m crazy?’ One of ‘em was a cat. And you can’t tell a cat from a rabbit when it’s hangin’ on the line skinned. My uncle, he ate the cat, too. He ate it. My uncle and my dad, they got along pretty good. When Cleve would get drunk, the ol’ man would beat him up… Cleve chewed tobacco, but my dad didn’t mind that. Not the worst habit in the world. But anyway, they got along pretty good. No complaints… Cleve lived on the island the whole time we were there, and when we all pulled out, he went back to the mainland.”

In the News~

February 26, 1899 [LAT/OC]: “Sheriff Lacy did not go to Bell Canyon yesterday to bring in the two boys who had been shooting at each other during the day… The story of the shooting as told by Cleve Hyder, the smaller of the participants, is that he was sent over to Robinson’s place for some water, and that the Robinson boy came out and began pulling his ears and otherwise harassing him until he became so vexed that he pulled his bulldog revolver, and placing it against young Robinson’s stomach, told him he would shoot if he did not go away; that Robinson refused to go away, and persisted in annoying him until he discharged the pistol in the ground for the purpose of frightening the boy; that young Robinson then ran into the house, and in a few moments returned with a shotgun; that he then thought he would have to defend himself and opened fire with his pistol; that he fired but once, although he tried to shoot again, but the pistol snapped; that Robinson meanwhile leveled the shotgun on him and fired, a good portion of the shot lodging in his face. The Hyder boy retreated… twenty-two shot were picked out of the lad’s face…”

September 24, 1907 [LAT/LB]: “A devilfish, measuring five feet from tip to tip, was brought up this morning in one of the lobster pots sunk by engineer Cleve Hyder at the end of the pier.”