It is difficult to reconcile the fixed points provided by the census with the family accounts of the youthful wanderings of A. J. and W. G. McCombs. Here is the version from Wally Shafer (1990), pp. 14-15, almost certainly based upon information provided by Robert S. McCombs:
The McCombs came west the year of 1895, making the journey by
covered wagon along the Oregon Trail. Several of the family units stayed in
the north, along with various in-laws, but others ventured as far south as Hanford.
A. J. McCombs stayed in Hanford while, his cousin, W. G. McCombs, settled in
History, however, destined that the cousins were to come to this area of the San Joaquin. In 1900, A. J. left Hanford to take a foreman's position on the Palm Ranch located on Kimberlina road a west of the Santa Fe tracks.
A. J. McCombs proved to be good at his job and at keeping what he earned for a grubstake of his own. Also, the gentleman must have studied the land and noted that the need for irrigation water was imperative. As a result, he bought land two miles east of what became the Wasco extension colony.
His property was in the rich Poso Creek area; he named it the Golden Gate Ranch. In later years, it was bought and farmed by Sterling Giddings.
Also, McCombs developed a fruit ranch one mile north of Highway 46, and near the corner which today is identified as Root and McCombs roads. Meanwhile, Cousin W. G. (Winfred G.) started a dairy farm not far from A. J.'s fruit ranch.
W. G. by 1904 worked for his cousin doing various jobs until he got the urge to move north as far as Santa Rosa. There he did odd jobs, some 'cowboying' from Santa Rosa, Benecia and Bodega Bay. Racing horses pulling buggies or wagons got his attention for a spell. However, he remembered earlier days in this area and returned to be an employee of his cousin. W. G. was 22 years old at the time. Coincidentally, the year was 1907, an eventful time.
Teaming up with A. J. (never found the names that went with the A. J. perhaps, Andrew Jackson) the two opened a produce market east of the settlement. It's name was Golden Gate Market. Later, they started a grocery store on Seventh street downtown. Name of it was Golden Gate Market. Wasco Plumbing today is in the same location.
Winfred Grover McCombs apparently realized that this area was 'home'....free lancing other places lost its attraction...and a home was what it became after Chella Bennett said 'yes' when he proposed. Her father was Jeff Bennett. The original Bennett residence was located just east of the high school on the corner of Seventh and Poplar. It was removed a number of years ago after a fire gutted it.
W. G. and Chella were wedded in 1914 and had three children: Robert, Wilton and Eileen. Chella Bennett McCombs as a new bride, was most forunate as her husband had constructed a new home just before their marriage. Robert said the home was tuilt on the corner of Ninth and D streets and cost $1400 to build.
Golden Gate Market, the cousins' downtown business, was a very busy place. On the east half of the market, groceries were sold and the other side was utilized as a meat department. Twice the structure, in which the business was housed, burned down with the third rebuilding lasting even after the market disappeared.
Winfred sold his interest in the market and started a dairy again near the corner of McCombs and Root. His first effort near the same spot years earlier did not pan out for him. Again, the enterprise went from bad to worse as the depression days hit. He suffered large financial losses and added to his difficulties by contracting TB. A year was spent in the Keene Sanitarium near Tehachapi.