Paso Robles Pioneer Day Royalty introduced at annual dinner

Switzer is Queen, Tullock is Marshal and Anthony is Belle

Pioneer Day royalty was officially announced Sunday at the annual dinner. The Pioneer Day Queen is Jo Ann Arnold Switzer, the Marshal is Bob Tullock and the Belle is Jewel Melina Anthony of the Lockwood area. The dinner serves as the kickoff to Pioneer Day on Oct. 13 in downtown Paso Robles.

All or some of the royalty will be in attendance at the Pioneer Ladies Luncheon on Sept. 13, the Pre-Pioneer Day Shindig at the Paso Robles Event Center and the Pioneer Ladies Tea on Oct. 6.

Switzer and Tullock mingled with friends and family at the dinner at the Paso Robles Golf Course and posed for photos.

While Switzer and Tullock were made aware of the honor, the Belle was kept secret and unveiled Sunday night.

Three high school seniors — Anthony, Katie Ann Moffatt of the Adelaida area, and Hailey Nicole Borden of the Indian Valley area — representing their Pioneer families’ homestead regions surrounding Paso Robles vied for the Belle title. Moffatt and Borden are the Belle Attendants.

All of the honorees said they were thrilled to be selected, looked forward to taking part in the Pioneer Day events and thanked the Pioneer Day Committee.


Jo Ann Arnold Switzer’s attendants are Cindy Switzer, Terri Switzer and Kim Brown.

Guy and Grace Arnold were the parents of Jo Ann, the youngest of her siblings, Mary, who is now deceased, and John, all born and raised on the Arnold Ranch in Pozo. Today the Fifth and sixth generations of the Arnold-Switzer family are still ranching on the original homestead in Pozo.

Her grandparents, Thomas and Josephine, coming from Nebraska, first arrived in Santa Margarita in 1913, when they purchased a general merchandise store. In 1919, they bought the family ranch in Pozo. Thomas’s parents James and Anna Sinton Arnold arrived in New York in 1875, James coming from England and Anna from Ireland.

James was a taxi driver, using his team of horses and buggy. Thomas was born in New York in 1878. James eventually bought land in Nebraska where they lived.

Thomas married married Josephine Keck, who was one of 11 children. They were married in Stockville, Neb., in 1899. They had three sons, Claude, Loyal and Guy Arnold. They came from Nebraska to California, staying with relatives in early 1912 and eventually settled in Santa Margarita in 1913, purchasing the first ranch in 1919 in Pozo.

Guy met Grace Skinner who came from Alameda to reach school in Pozo. A short time later they married and had three children, Mary, Jo Ann and John.

During the depression, Thomas lost the ranch, Guy stepped in and assumed the note buying the ranch. At the end of World War II, the commodities went sky high, enabling Guy and Grace to pay off the debt of the home ranch and buy more ranches in the Pozo Valley.

Along with their farming and commercial cattle herd, they also raised registered hereford cattle.

“At a young age, I learned to do the registration papers on the cattle, which little did I know that I would use this knowledge again later in life,” Jo Ann recalls.

Alex Madonna had been a very long-time family friend, in 1973 when he decided to go into the registered hereford business, he called Jo Ann and asked her to come work for him, taking care of the registered cattle and all of the paperwork that went along with it.

“This was an amazing experience and education,” Jo Ann said, adding that they travelled all over the Western U.S. and Canada buying cattle and attending cattle sales. She later worked for Farm Supply Company in their Paso Robles office.

Jo Ann was born in 1936, the first baby to be born at the Mountain View Hospital in San Luis Obispo. She attended the one-room school in Pozo from first through sixth grades and since she was the only one in her class her parents sent her to Santa Margarita Elementary to complete the seventh and eighth grades.

Besides being scared to death and a major culture shock from being the only student to having 17 in her class, Jo Ann had to ride the school bus 18 miles from Pozo to Santa Margarita, leaving at 7:30 a.m. and returning home at 4:30 p.m.

The next step was on to Atascadero High School for four years and the to San Luis Obispo Junior College, which is now Cuesta College.

Jo Ann was very active in the Pozo 4-H Club and was a County All-Star. She showed the champion lamb at the very first fair in Paso Robles in 1946, after that she always showed steers, which she still holds the record for having six 4-H champion steers. She also won numerous awards with her sewing and canning entries. She has been in attendance and participating in every fair since 1946. She served as the Livestock Superintendent for the past 14 years. She served as a director on the Fair Board for eight years, 1986-94, being the major force in starting the Cattlemen and Farmers Day in 1987. She was secretary/treasurer of the San Luis Obispo County Cattlemen’s Association for 33 years. She continues to be active in county, state and national Cattlemen’s Associations and has served on numerous committees at all three levels.

She was interviewed and filmed by the California Farm Bureau for an education brahman/hereford and F1 cross cattle film show in California, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon as a special appearance featuring women in agriculture as well as doing many others for numerous agriculture functions.

She served several years on the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee. She was a founding member of the Cal Poly Rodeo Boosters, still serving on the board. She was a founding member of the San Luis Obispo High School FFA Aggies Backers in 1974.

She serves on the Cal Poly Animal Science Advisory Council for the School of Agriculture. She was the first woman to be on the San Luis Obispo County Cattlemen’s Board of Directors as well as the first woman to be chose as Cattleman of the Year. She was inducted into the California State Fair Rodeo Hall of Fame. She was honored in 1998 by the Cal Poly Animal Science Department Hall of Fame. She was involved in the Templeton Livestock Marker for over 20 years and was instrumental in starting the Tri County Bull Sale held at the Templeton in the fall for over 25 years.

In 1956, Jo Ann married Don Switzer and together they raised four sons.

“The very most important thing that I have accomplished and am most proud of is having four wonderful sons,” she said.

Mark and Cindy Switzer own Mark Switzer Excavating in Templeton and have two children, Wesley and Miles Switzer.

Thomas Switzer is construction in San Simeon and wife Kim has Kim and Co. Hair Salon in San Luis Obispo.

Joel and Terri Switzer have Switzer Diesel in Santa Margarita. Their children are Maddie Porter, Katie Jo, Haley Rose and Jefry.

Jo Ann and Don Switzer also have six great-grandchildren — Gavin and Laila Switzer, Holley Fay Vering, and Lilly, Ellie and Walker Porter.

Her family along with a few neighbors were the driving force to get electricity brought to Pozo in 1947. Jo Ann’s uncle, Claude Arnold served as San Luis Obispo County Supervisor from 1932 to 1940. Today, her niece Debbie Arnold is the Fifth District SLO County Supervisor.

“Lots of pioneer history in our ranching families where the roots run deep,” Jo Ann said.


Bob Tullock was born in Atascadero, the second child of Margaret and Bob Tullock. He spent some of his early years in the Bay Area because his father was a welder in the shipyards in Richmond. Bob returned to Templeton with his mother and older sister before starting school, and attended Templeton schools from first through 12th grade, along with his older sister Dorothy and younger sister Karen.

Following graduation in 1958, Bob bought a used BSA Motorcycle and started racing dirt track. He was working for Albers Feed in Atascadero, both working in the mill and delivering bulk feed, and that supplied enough money to support his motorcycle habit.

However, Bob realized that the mill frequently hired workers with some college coursework at a far higher salary than he was making, despite their lack of experience. He had also started dating Janet Brown and realized that he needed to go to college if he was ever going to have enough money to marry the love of his life.

Bob had not studied much in high school, but enrolled in Taft College and turned around his academic future. He proposed to Janet, applied to transfer to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Bob and Janet were married and moved to San Luis Obispo in 1962. Their first two daughters, Judie and Peggy, were born while Bob was at Cal Poly and as he approached graduation with a bachelor’s degree, two of his professors encourage him to apply to graduate school at Purdue University in Indiana to pursue an advanced degree.

In the fall of 1967, the family of four loaded up the car and homemade trailer and headed for Indiana. He completed the master’s program and earned a doctorate in Soil Chemistry in just five years and the family welcomed their third daughter, Terri.

In the years following his graduation, he completed a postdoctoral position at the University of California at Riverside, a temporary position at Purdue Indiana, and two years at Oregon State. Bob yearned to get back to California nearer to his family and in 1976 accepted a permanent faculty position at Cal Poly Pomona and settled the family in Norco. He was very active in 4-H leadership, with his wife and three daughters, raising sheep, goats, cows, chickens, and pigs.

During his tenure at Cal Poly Pomona, he also led a horticulture project for the university in the Yemen Arab Republic from 1984 to 1987. This job carried the family through many countries in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

In the early 1990s, Bob and Janet built their dream house on land that had been part of Janet’s great-great-grandparents 1862 homestead just north of Paso Robles. They moved into their new home in 1994, and treasured the opportunity to have two precious years with Bob’s father and 10 cherished years with Bob’s mother, living close and back home, as well as wonderful time with Janet’s parents.

When Janet’s father, Joe C. Brown, became Pioneer Day Marshal in 2002, Bob and Janet were thrilled to be able to help make that one of the highlights of Joe’s life. Retirement and the return home have also given Bob and Janet the opportunity to become more active and join many community efforts, including the Pioneer Day Committee, Templeton Historical Museum Society, Paso Robles Historical Society, Pioneer Museum, Estrella Warbirds and Woodland Museum, and the Friends of the Adobe groups. He is also very active in the Central Coast Model T Ford Club, Paso A’s (Model A Fords), and the Early Ford V8 Club. Both Bob and Janet enjoy supporting these important vital groups.


Jewel Melina Anthony, representing the Lockwood area, is the Pioneer Day Belle and Katie Ann Moffatt, representing the Adelaida area, and Hailey Nicole Borden, representing the Indian Valley area, are the Belle Attendants.

Anthony’s parents are Jon and Tiffany Koester Anthony. Her grandparents are Tim and Barbara Patterson Koester.

Benjamin Franklin Patterson, Jewel’s great-great-grandfather, homesteaded 160 acres in Lockwood in 1882. He married Viola Mae Saylor from the Bryson-Hesperia area in 1891. The farmed wheat and raised cattle, hogs and chickens. Benjamin had the first gasoline-powered tractor in the area. This is the same Molin Gas Tractor that has been in the Pioneer Day Parade since it started.

Benjamin and Viola Mae’s son, Floyd Lester, continued the family farming operation. At the age of 16, he built and put a motor on the horse-drawn harvester to eliminate 12 head of working horses. The farming operation used a prairie schooner to haul their grain crop to the mill in San Miguel. This is the same schooner that leads the parade every year since the beginning.

Floyd’s son, Floyd Lester Jr., was the first in the area to bring methods of strip cropping, contour farming, fertilizing and check dams for erosion control when he took over the ranch.

Jewel’s great-uncle Floyd Lester III lives in the Adobe house built in the 1900s, which replaced the original homestead after it was destroyed by fire.

Jewel’s grandparents, Barbara and Tim live five miles down the road from the original Patterson homestead in Lockwood. Through the generations of acquiring land, the ranch now stands at 3,380 acres.

Jewel is a senior at Paso Robles High School. She plans to attend Cuesta College and major in Plant and Soil Science. She said, “I love dirt, plants and science.”

Moffatt’s parents are Jim and Jennifer Silva Moffatt. Her grandparents are the late Russ Silva and Vicky Dodd Silva and James and Jane Valentine Moffatt.

Katie’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Otto Wyss, arrived in New York in 1873 from Zurich, Switzerland. He traveled to San Francisco and eventually found his way to Adelaida in 1876, where he worked in the mercury mines as a machinist and mapmaker. He homesteaded in the area in 1878. His first wife, Ottilie, also came from Switzerland and they had five children.

In 1885, three of their sons died of diptheria and their mother passed away a few years later. Otto married his second wife, Seline, who also was from Switzerland. Their youngest daughter was Katie’s great-great-grandmother, Paulina Johnson Wyss.

Polly, as she was called, married John Dodd in 1912. Their second son was Raymond Bunch Dodd, who was Katie’s great-grandfather. Bunch was Pioneer Day Marshal in 1994. Polly was on the first county fair board from 1942 through 1960. The Home Economics Building on the grounds of the Paso Robles Event Center was dedicated to her in 1955.

Katie’s grandmother, Vicky Silva, has been a pas Pioneer Day Parade Chairman and has spearheaded the Pre-Pioneer Day Dance BBQ for many years.

Katie’s older sister, Megan, was a Belle Attendant in 2015 and her cousin, Riley Dodd, was the Belle in 2017.

Katie is a senior at Templeton High School. She is involved in studying and training in all aspects of dance. She spent five weeks this summer studying with the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. She is planning on attending a four-year university to study dance and pursue a career in dance.

Borden’s parents are Aaron and Shelly Meeks Borden. Her grandparents are Rick and Marge Burden Meeks.

Hailey’s ancestors immigrated to the United States from France in the early 1870s. The Hebrard and Bernard families traveled from Kentucky by wagon train to Pine Canyon near San Ardo in the late 1870s. At this time, the area was a French community of farmers. Both families farmed in San Ardo, Pine Canyon, Bradley and San Miguel areas.

The Burden family also came by wagon train from Kentucky to the San Ardo area in the 1870s. Hailey’s great-great-grandfather’s brother was killed during an Indian raid on their group. The family moved to the Indian Valley area in 1929 and started a farming operation.

Hailey’s great-great-grandparents, Charles and Beverly Burden, took over the farming operation and passed it on to their son Charles, Hailey’s grandmother Marge’s father. The Burden family farmed the same land for 64 years.

Hailey has many related family members who have lived and farmed over many of the pioneer areas, such as Cambria, Adelaida, Bradley and Pleyto.

Hailey’s great-great-great-great-grandmother was Pioneer Day Queen in 1935.

Hailey is a senior at Templeton High School and plans to attend Cuesta College. She plans to attend Texas A&M and study to become a large animal veterinarian. She enjoys showing cattle at fairs and jackpots.

The Pioneer Day Parade starts promptly at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 in downtown Paso Robles. The parade route starts at 16th and Spring streets and ends surrounding the Paso Robles City Park.

The first Pioneer Day was held on Oct. 12, 1931. It was organized by community volunteers working with generous donations of time, materials and money from individuals, businesses, churches and service organizations. Their goal was to provide a day of community friendship and a commemoration of the heritage of the Paso Robles area. It would also become a day set aside to say “Thank You” to all of the people who support the business and professional community of the area throughout the year.

Following the Pioneer Day Parade,  a free bean feed is held in the Downtown City Park and the Antique Tractor and Wagon Display and Vintage Engine Show takes place at the Pioneer Museum on Riverside Avenue.


The 2018 Pioneer Day Queen Jo Ann Arnold Switzer and Pioneer Day Marshal Bob Tullock pose for a photo Sunday, Aug. 19, at the Pioneer Day Royalty Dinner at the Paso Robles Golf Course.

The 2018 Pioneer Day Belle is Jewel Melina Anthony, middle, and the Belle attendants are Hailey Nicole Borden, left, and Katie Ann Moffatt, right.


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