History of the State of California and biographical record of coast counties, California: an historical story of the state's marvelous growth from its earliest settlement to the present time ... Also containing biographies of well-known citizens of the past and present
By James Miller Guinn
The Chapman Publishing Co. (1904)
California Local History - Rocq - 15842
Sutro Library (RB)
CALL NUMBER: F868.A1 G8a -- Rare Book
Pg 511
THOMAS HOPPER A striking representative of the strong and hardy California pioneers that succeeded in the difficult task of surmounting the many obstacles that beset the pathway of the earlier settlers of the state, Thomas Hopper has, by accumulating wealth and attaining a commanding position in the business world, more than accomplished the purpose, which he had, in view when he came here. He is a self-made man in every sense implied by the term, and, not withstanding that he often met with reverses in his varied career as farmer, miner, lumberman, cattle-raiser and stock-dealer, he has made a success in life, and is now able to spend his declining years in peace and plenty, retired from active pursuits. A native of Missouri, he was born September 23, 1820 in Lafayette County, a son of William Hopper Jr. His grandfather, William Hopper Sr., was born in North Carolina, but several years after his marriage removed to Indiana.

William Hopper Jr., a native of North Carolina, removed from there with his parents to Lawrence county, Ind., when a boy, and was there reared to man’s estate. Going from there to Missouri in 1817 or 1818, he took up land, and was there engaged in farming until his death, which was caused by an accident, in 1824, while he was yet a young man. He married, in Lawrence county, Ind., Nancy Armstrong, who bore him four children, Thomas being the second in order of birth. His widow subsequently returned to the home of her father, in Indiana, and there married a second time.

Thomas Hopper was but four years old when the death of his father occurred. Going with his mother to Indiana, he remained with her until eleven years old, when he left home on account of a whipping given to him by his stepfather. Starting in life for himself at that time, he worked as a farm laborer until eighteen years old, when he returned to Missouri, where, for a year, he worked by the month for a farmer. Marrying soon afterward, he bought a small farm in Johnson County, MO., where he resided about three years. May 9, 1847, accompanied by his wife and child, he started for the Pacific coast with Charles Hoppers Party, and having crossed the plains with ox teams arrived at Sutter’s Fort September 5, 1847, being one of the only party that came to California that year. After a few days he proceeded to the Waukena Valley, and thence to San Jose, where he and his family camped for a short time. He then went to the Santa Cruz Mountains, being hired to put up a mill, but the owner failing in business he did not succeed in his purpose. Settling in Santa Cruz, he built a redwood house, and afterwards both he and his wife worked in a sawmill, each receiving $1 a day for their labor.

In May, 1848, Mr. Hopper becoming convinced of the truth of the reports concerning the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill, packed his goods and with his family started for the scene of action, taking with him a boat which he had made to cross the swollen streams in. Arriving at Sutter’s, he began prospecting, and by the use of shovel and pickaxe often made $100.00 a day. In July of that year he took his wife and babies to George Yount’s ranch, in Napa Valley, and left them there for awhile. Buying four yoke of cattle there he started on his return to the gold fields, and while on the trip had a narrow escape from death, the boat in which he was crossing the Sacramento River capsizing. He would surely have been drowned had he not held on to his horse’s tail and swam ashore. Soon after his return to Sutter’s Mill he sold his cattle, and went with a party of five to Dry Gulch, where he made considerable money. In October he returned to his family, and spent the winter in Napa Valley. This was providential and saved his life, as the party left at the mines was murdered by the Indians. In the spring of 1849 he was again prospecting around Sutter’s diggings, and in the summer joined Walker’s expedition to Monterey County, but failing to secure any amount of gold, he returned to Napa County.

In the fall of 1849, Mr. Hopper, having previously bought a large herd of cattle, removed with his family to Sonoma Township, Sonoma County, where he bought thirty acres of land, erected a small house, and commenced farming, in the meantime turning his cattle out on the range. He also engaged in teaming in that locality, receiving from $18 to $20 a day. General Vallejo was a neighbor and a frequent visitor in the Hopper family. Disposing of his property in the spring of 1850, Mr. Hopper bought a lot and erected a house in the city of Sonoma, but soon afterward sold out to Dr. Tennant for $1,000. Taking up a claim immediately afterward in Green Valley, he lived there until 1852, when he sold out and went to Sacramento, where he invested $4,500 in cattle. He subsequently took up a claim of one hundred and sixty acres on the Cotate grant, and soon afterward purchased an adjoining six hundred and forty acres. He continued to add to his possession by purchase until he had a ranch of twenty-three hundred and sixty acres, which he gave to three of his daughters. He had other extensive land tracts, at one time owning eighty-two hundred acres of redwood, which he gave to his children. December 18, 1878, Mr. Hopper became a resident of Santa Rosa, making it his home one-year. In 1883 he turned his extensive cattle business and his land possessions over to his children, and has since lived practically retired from active business. Mr. Hopper has been prominently identified with many large financial institutions for over six years, serving as president in the Santa Rosa Bank, in which he was a stock owner to the amount of five hundred and thirteen shares. After disposing of those he bought $12,100 of shares in another bank, and $31,800 worth in the Ukiah Bank, giving the latter to his son, Henry T. Hopper. He is a stanch Democrat in politics, and an active worker for his party and his friends.

July 14, 1844, Mr. Hopper married Minerva Young, of Lafayette county, MO. She died February 24, 1891. Ten children were born of their union. Eliza, born April 23, 1846, is the wife of Isaac F Cook, and till recently resided on a part of the ranch formerly owned by Mr. Hopper; John William, a capitalist in Santa Rosa, was the first white child born in Nevada, his birth occurring August 30 th, 1847, at the sinks of the Humboldt, while the family were crossing the plains; Wesley, a capitalist in Santa Rosa, was born January 25, 1852; Disy Eveline, born July 9, 1854, who married Joseph Spottswood, was the mother of two children, Thomas H. and Minerva Bell, who married O.F. Leppo. Mrs. Spottswood died February 28,1878. Mary E., born December 16, 1856, is the wife of Frank Roberts, and lives on a portion of the old home ranch. Henry Thomas, born July 28, 1860, is a prominent sheep raiser, and one of the leading citizens of Ukiah, CA., where he is serving as president of the Ukiah Bank; Rosa Belle, born March 22, 1865, married Elmer Ludwig, by whom she had one daughter, Hazel Bell. Mrs. Ludwig afterward became the wife of Dr. McNeal, but is now a widow and resides in Seattle, Wash. Hazel Bell Ludwig resides with her grandmother, Mrs. T.J. Ludwig, of San Francisco. No history of the early pioneers to would be complete without due mention of Thomas Hopper and his brave and courageous wife, who, undaunted, followed her enterprising husband into the wilderness. A study of their lives and eventful careers gives an inspiration not only to their immediate descendants, but to the American people.


History of the State of California and biographical record of coast counties, California: an historical story of the state's marvelous growth from its earliest settlement to the present time ... Also containing biographies of well-known citizens of the past and present
By James Miller Guinn
The Chapman Publishing Co. (1904)
California Local History - Rocq - 15842
Sutro Library (RB)
CALL NUMBER: F868.A1 G8a -- Rare Book
Page 401
JOHN WILLIAM HOPPER An interesting fact connected with the life of John William Hopper is that he is the first white child to owe his nativity to the state of Nevada. He was born in an ox wagon in the sinks of the Humboldt river, August 30, 1847, a son of Thomas Hopper, that splendid and prosperous California pioneer who was destined to own so many hundreds of acres of land and to so forcibly impress his personality and worth upon the development of Sonoma County.

While it cannot be claimed for John William Hopper that he is a self-made man in the ordinary acceptation of that term, he has certainly made the most of his inheritance, and is probably one of the best-informed general farmers and stockmen in Sonoma County. Associated with cattle buying and selling from earliest raising business after attaining his majority, the land therefor being located in Knights Valley and consisting of thirty-eight hundred and forty acres. This property belonged to his father and one hundred and sixty acres was cleared for farming. The balance was devoted to the sheep industry, and during the ten years in the business Mr. Hopper had on an average twenty-four hundred sheep. He cleared considerable money with sheep, and then went into the cattle business exclusively, continuing the same with equal success until 1891. He then leased his land and came to Santa Rosa, where he has since bought a home on Sonoma Avenue, 300 x 160 feet, ground dimensions, and makes this his headquarters for managing his large landed estates. Besides the farm in Knight’s Valley, which is entirely his own, he owns a ranch of thirty-seven hundred acres on the Guella River, which he has leased to the same man who has charge of the other ranch.

The Wife of Mr. Hopper was formerly Isabelle Wisecarver, who was born in the east, a daughter of Joseph Wisecarver, a pioneer of California and Sonoma County. They have on child, Minnie M., the wife of W.G. Chamberlin, of San Francisco. Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlin have one son, Joseph Warren. The Hopper home is one of the most delightful in Santa Rosa and to its beautifying the genial owner and his wife have devoted much time, although the former cares nothing for the social side of life which would naturally center among such surroundings. The large and beautiful house is surrounded by such flowers, shrubs and trees as California alone can produce, and from the standpoint of all around good fortune, one is inclined to envy the possessor of so many of the good things of a great and bountiful state. Born and reared to an appreciation of the dignity of toil, to the necessity of being occupied with worth-while things, and having a natural disinclination to idleness, Mr. Hopper is a worker, spending his time at present in overlooking his property interests, making extensive improvements wherever needed, and buying and selling cattle. As may be imagined, his political affiliations have never taken very deep root, although he votes the Democratic ticket for president and patronizes the best man locally, regardless of party. Mr. Hopper has many friends and is known as a substantial and thoroughly reliable business man and citizen.


The Bay of San Francisco, The Metropolis of the Pacific Coast and its Suburban Cities A HISTORY, Vol II, Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892, page 252-253

L. W. SEELY, another prominent member of the San Francisco bar, was born in Pennsylvania, in 1858. His ancestors were early settlers of Pennsylvania, and filled honorable positions in life. His great-grandfather was born in that State, and was an officer in the Revolutionary war. His father, Colonel F.W. Seely, is likewise a native of the Keystone State, and served through the war of the Rebellion, and was retired as a Brevet Lieutenant Colonel. He was appointed and served as a delegate to the international convention for protection of the industrial property held at Madrid, Spain in 1890; now holds the position of Principal Examiner in the Patent Office at Washington, D.C.

Mr. L.W. Seely was reared and educated in his native State. He studied law in Washington, and graduated at the Columbia Law School, after which he was admitted to the bar, and engaged in the practice of his profession. For six years he was a Solicitor of Patents. He is now associated in his law practice with General Ellis Spear, formerly, Commissioner of Patents, the firm being Spear & Seely, with offices at San Francisco and Washington D.C. Mr. Seely is the resident partner in San Francisco.


The Bay of San Francisco, The Metropolis of the Pacific Coast and its Suburban Cities A HISTORY, Vol II, Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892, page 252

DR. EDWARD K. TAYLOR, one of the best-known members of the San Francisco bar and President of the Bar Association, is a native of Illinois, born at Springfield, September 24, 1838. His father's family was among the oldest in the State of Delaware, and his mother belonged to one of the oldest and most prominent families in Philadelphia.

Dr. Taylor received his education in Missouri, and after reaching manhood came to the Pacific coast, in 1862. He studied medicine and graduated at the Toland Medical College, after which he was engaged in the practice of that profession until 1867, when he accepted the position of private secretary to Governor Haight, performing the duties of that important post during the Governor's administration. He then took up the study of law, and was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court in January, 1872. He entered the law office of Jarboe & Harrison, and two years later engaged in the practice of law, forming a co-partnership with Governor Haight in January 1874. They continued in practice together until the death of Governor Haight, which occurred in September, 1878. Soon after George W. Haight became a partner with Dr. Taylor, and they remained together until 1890, when the Doctor withdrew from the firm and has since continued to practice alone. He is a great student and not only a leading member of the San Francisco bar, bur is prominently identified with all the progressive literary and education interests of the city.

Dr. Taylor is one of the fifteen freeholders to frame a charter in 1886 and 1887 for the city of San Francieso. He is one of the Trustees of the Free Public Library, is Vice-President of the Cooper Medical College, and is an honorary member of the State Medical Society, and the Alumni Society of the medical department of the University of California, beside being connected with other societies and organizations.


The Bay of San Francisco, The Metropolis of the Pacific Coast and its Suburban Cities A HISTORY, Vol II, Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892, page 253

Elmer Childs, architect, residing in Oakland, was born in Levenworth, Kansas, April 24, 1863, a son of William Wilkins and Sarah (Marshall) Childs, who came to California in 1874. The father, who was a native of New Jersey, has been mainly a builder, while the mother is a native of Illinois. After marriage they moved to Leavenworth, where the father followed the business of contracting for building. They have three living children: Eugene William, now of Florence, Pinal county, engaged in cattle-raising; Lillian May, the wife of Hon M.C. Chapman, attorney at Oakland, and the subject of this sketch. The last mentioned, being eleven years of age when he came to this coast, has received his education chiefly in Oakland. In his sixteenth year he entered an architect's office, and has been an architect to the present time. In 1891 he opened an office on his own account. He is a member of some of the athletic clubs.

He was married in Oakland, in 1889, to Miss Anna Reirer, a native of this city.


istory of Stanislaus County California with Biographical Sketches, History by George H. Tinkham, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1921 pages 955-956

DELL M. Seely - A wide-expert whose experience and enterprising operations have proven of great benefit to the Modesto motor world, is Dell M. Seely, a native son, proud to have been born in that city on February 21. 1880. His father was Martin V. Seely, the son of Charles R. Seely, who, as an early pioneer, came from Iowa across the plains in 1848 and settled in California. He took up farming on Government land, and was long known for his activity in the San Joaquin Valley, and particularly in the section about Modesto. Martin V. Seely married Miss Emily Mahoney, the daughter of John B. Mahoney, of Schenectady, N.Y., a rancher, who was also a pioneer of Stanislaus County and acquired large tracts of land. A son, a brother of Mrs. Seely, was West B. Mahoney, who recently passed away, honored as one of Modesto's best citizens. Martin V. Seely became a large grain farmer, owing a large tract of land between Oakdale and what is now Waterford, at one time being the largest wheat raiser in the county. Afterwards, he spent some years as a fruit grower in Santa Clara Valley, then returned to the San Joaquin Valley, where is a farmer and stockman at Ripon, and there he and his estimable wife welcome their old friends of pioneer days. John B. Mahoney died in Modesto about 1906, while his widow is still living in San Jose. On his maternal side, Mr. Seely is a lineal descendant of Stephen Girard of Philadelphia. They are also proud to know that Thomas Edison is of the same family. Having profited by the grammar schools of Santa Clara County, Dell M. Seely attended the San Jose Normal and also Heald's Technical School in San Francisco, after which he served an apprenticeship as a machinist in the Union Iron Works of the bay city. He remained with the latter firm for seven years, and in that time had worked up to the rank of outside installing engineer and covered the entire western country west of the Mississippi. He had charge, among other contracts, of the setting up of the Miami plant of 22,000 horsepower, at Miami, Ariz., the Can Balm Young plant at Honolulu, the North Beach power plant in San Francisco, and other important plants over this territory. While with the Union Iron Works, Mr. Seely was in trial trips on the different Government war vessels built at the works for the Pacific fleet while he was with the company. He worked on the first submarine built on the Pacific coast and was on the submarine when it made its trial trip, which was the first underseas trip on this coast.

On his return to San Francisco Mr. Seely engaged in the automobile repairing business, and had a shop much patronized. In 1916 he came back to Modesto and bought and operated the Reliable Garage over California until he sold it in 1917 and engaged as an electrical contractor over California until July, 1920. He then purchased the garage at 809 Thirteenth Street, where once more he established a reputation for general automobile repair work. He is not only a machinist and electrical engineer, but is able to do anything in the line of the iron trades.

In San Jose, on September 30, 1903, Mr. Seely was married to Miss May Zurcher, a daughter of David and Elizabeth Zurcher, and a native of Kansas. Her father was a millwright, and he passed away in 1910. Her mother died at their home in Modesto in November 1920. Now Mr and Mrs. Seely have two daughter and a grandson. Alva has become Mrs. Clifford Gaar and lived at Modesto, with a son, Robert Gaar, while Della Seely lives with her parents, and still attends the grammar school at Modesto. Mr. Seely belongs to the Druids, and is a standpat Republican. He was one of the first members of the California Automobile Trades Association in Modesto. He is a member of the American Technical Society and is consulting engineer for the Master Aeronautical Engineers, both of Washington, D.C., and during the World War was a member of the National War College.


Judge William C Lemmon
Illustrated History of Plumas, Lassen & Sierra Counties
Farriss & Smith, San Francisco, CA - 1882
Page 272

Judge Lemmon was born in Seneca Co., New York, March 3, 1822. When William was eight years old his father removed to Washtenaw Co., Michigan, and settled on a farm which he located for his son in 1825, the patent for the land being sign by John Quincy Adams, and still in the possession of our subject. Six years after, his father died, and the management of the farm, together with the support of the family, devolved upon William, which duties he discharged until the other children were grown up. He attended schools at Albion, Michigan, and from there went to Ann Arbor, where he read law with Wilson and Hubbard, and was admitted to the supreme court of the state in December, 1849. In the spring of 1850 he came to California, via Panama, arriving in June and going direct to Nevada City. He soon began mining on the islands below Goodyear's bar, and in the fall settled at Downieville, engaging in general merchandise. In 1851 he was elected the second justice of the peace of Downieville, and served two years. >From the summer of 1852 until 1856 he delt in stock, spending his summers in Sierra valley, and his winters near the buttes in the Sacramento valley. Then he made the latter place his home until the floods of 1861-62, when he returned to Sierra valley, and has since lived there. In 1853 he was elected a justice of Sierra township, and served two years. He is a past master of Sierra Valley Lodge No. 184, F. & A. M.

B. F. Lemmon
Illustrated History of Plumas, Lassen & Sierra Counties
Farriss & Smith, San Francisco, CA - 1882
Page 273.

B. F. Lemmon. - He was born in Seneca county New York, May 13, 1826. When twelve years old he started out for himself, and worked principally at farming for a number of years. In 1851 he came to California, via Panama, and mined first with his brother William C., at Downieville. Shortly after, he was taken sick, and did nothing for some months. In August, 1851 the were employed by the citizens of Downieville to pilot a party of emigrants to that place from the Humboldt desert, and were the first to pass through the Henness Pass. In the spring of 1852 B. F. Lemmon came to Sierra valley and located the ranch on which he know live (1882), containing then 160 acres, to which he has since added 480 acres, making 640 in all. He was married November 4, 1858, to Miss Jane Herring, by whom he had one child, Ada, born in February, 1860, and died in February 1862. Mrs. Lemmon died in September, 1862. He was married a second time, June 29, 1870, to Mary L. Battelle of Sierra valley. Their children are H. A. born September 26, 1871, died September 30, 1872; H. A. born December 28, 1872, still living. Mr. Lemmon is a member of Mountain Vale Lodge No. 140 I. O. O. F., and of the Tahoe Encampment No. 45; also of the Veteran Odd Fellows association.

Prof. John Gill Lemmon
History of the state of California and biographical record of Oakland and environs:
By James Miller Guinn
Historic Record Company (1907)
Pages 834-835

Prof. John Gill Lemmon
The association of Prof. John Gill Lemmon with the botanical world of the Pacific slope, beginning in 1866, has resulted in the addition of over one hundred and fifty new species to the accepted classification, and the possibility of a wider knowledge along such line, for he is an indefatigable student, as is also his wife, who likewise has been identified with this development of the west. The professor came to California in 1866 as botanical explorer, collector and writer, making a specialty of forestry, which resulted in his appointment as Botanist to the California State board of foresty in 1887, a position which he held for a period of four years, and during which time his wife acted as Artist for that institution. Both are writers of distinction along these lines and hold a position of prominence amoung men and women of letters.

Prof John Gill Lemmon was born in Lima, near Ann Arbor, Mich., January 2 1832, a son of William and Amila Lemmon, descended on his mother's side from the Holland explorer, Henry Hudson. His mother was Amila Hudson in girlhood, her birth having occured in Geneva, Seneca county, N. Y., August 27, 1802; Her father, Henry Hudson, died at an early age, leaving two sons, Henry and William, and two daughters Amila and Jane Belinda. All of whom are now deceased (1907). At the age of seventeen years she became a member of the Baptist Church; in her nineteenth year she married William Lemmon, a farmer in Seneca county, N. Y. and in 1830, she with her husband and seven children moved to the interior of Michigan, where she braved the rough frontier life - hardships, deprivation and danger in the frequent encounter with the aboriginal tribes. While still stuggeling with the privations and duties of the pioneer life, she was left a widow at the early age of thirty four years. Shortly before her husband's death two children had died, leaving her still with seven little ones to support and educate. During the gold excitement in California her three eldest sons, William C., B. Frank, and Alexis B. (know all deceased), left her maternal care to seek their fortune in the far west, and in 1860 she joined them here, accompanied by her youngest daughter, Mrs. Amila H. Peters, since deceased new Carson, Nev. In 1863, when the Sacramento valley near Marysville was inundated, she lost everything but a silver spoon, barely escaping with her life by being conveyed in a wagon box three miles by her son, William C. The last six years of her life she passed in Oakland in the home of her youngest son John Gill, passing away October 7, 1885. She was the oldest member of Oakland Chapter No. 8, in Oakland, of the Order of Eastern Star, also of Lyon Relief Corps No. 3, and in early life served as chaplain of the Lodge of Good Templars, at Dexter Mich., and later in Sierraville, Cal. The Ebell Literary and Scientific Society of Oakland California, so widely known, claimed her as an honored and interested member.

Reared among primitive surroundings of a frontier state, Prof. John Gill received his education through an attendance first of the common schools, later private institutions and finally the Michigan State Normal. He began teaching a village school upon putting aside his studies and after a few years in which he so occupied he was made superintendent of county schools, a position he held for a tern of four years. He then entered the university of Michigan, but left before graduation in order to enlist in the Civil war, becoming a soldier in the Fourth Michigan Cavalry, June 8, 1862. Following this he participated in the thirty-six engagements in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia, including the four days of continuous conflict during the famous circuit of Atlanta and August 24, 1864, was taken prisoner and sent to Andersonville, where he remained until the close of the war. The story of his experiences while in prison are graphically told in his book, entitled "Recollections of Rebel Prisons." His regiment was the one which was captured by Jefferson Davis.

Despite his emaciated condition, soon after his arrival in California in 1866, it was the privilege of Professor Lemmon to explore and study that large diversified region of North America, beginning with California and lying west of the Rocky mountains and extending from Mexico to Alaska, usually designated the Pacific Slope. Early his attention was directed to the extensive forests of the region and articles descriptive of the trees have appeared from time to time in various journals, among which are the Pacific Rural Press, the Mining and Scientific Press, the Overland Monthly, the Californian, the California Teacher, the Sierra Club Bulletin, and especially the reports of the California State Board of Forestry, by whom he was employed as Botanist from 1887 to 1891. among the books he has written along these lines and others are "Ferns of the Pacific," "Handbook of West America," "Conebearers" (reaching its fourth edition), "Recollections of Rebel Prisons" and lastly, in 1902, "Oaks of the Pacific Slope." He is now completing the MS. for a large volume "Trees of West America." His writings have been very popular and are very widely read. He has a fine herbarium at his home at No. 5985 Telegraph avenue, where he keeps up his reading, writing, and extensive study along this line.

Professor Lemmon was exceedingly fortunate in his choice of a companion, for with his marriage in November, 1880, he acquired a helpmeet in all his undertakings, a kindred mind, educated and cultured. Mrs. Lemmon was before marriage Sara Allen Plummer, a native of Maine, and for a number of years an artist and teacher in New York City. During the time that Professor Lemmon served as Botanist of the California State Board of Forestry she acted as Artist, his articles being finely illustrated be her pen. She is also a writer of more than ordinary ability, having published "Marine Algae of the West," and "Western Ferns." She was the author of the bill for the adoption of the golden poppy as the California state emblem, the bill being carried in the senate March 7, 1891, as Senate Bill 707. The eagle quill with which Governor Pardee signed the bill is in her possession, having been presented to her by the Governor. Prof J. G. Lemmon and his wife were appointed by Mayor Mott of Oakland to represent Oakland at the National Irrigation and Forestry Congress, assembled at Sacramento, Cal., in 1907. Both Professor and Mrs. Lemmon are widely known socially as well as intellectually, and are held in the highest esteem by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.


From "The History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the Sierras", by Prof. J. M. Guinn, Chicago: Chapman Publishing Co, 1906, p 740.

Clarence G. Kelley [, son of George Fox Kelley and Emily Button,] was born in Vermont, but was educated in California, attending first the common schools, and afterward the high school in Petaluma. While in Petaluma he read law with William B. Haskell, an attorney of prominence, with whom, after his admission to the bar, he practiced law. Coming from there to Lassen county, he was engaged in the practice of his profession in Susanville for a number of years, being one of the leading attorneys of the place until his death, which occurred in 1890. He was a popular citizen, much esteemed, and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His wife, whose maiden name was Kate Gilman, survives him, and I s now a resident of Los Angeles.

From "The Illustrated History of Plumas, Lassen & Sierra Counties", San Francisco: Fariss & Smith, 1882, p. 387.

CLARENCE G. KELLEY.--The latest addition to the bar of Lassen county was born in Rutland county, Vermont, in March, 1852. He came to California with his parents in 1859. In 1869 he commenced teaching school, and taught in Lassen and Marin counties for six or seven years. In ? he began the study of the law in the offices of W. B. Haskell of Petaluma, continuing the study for about two years. He was admitted to practice in the supreme court in November, 1879, and the following May he settled in Susanville, and began the practice of his profession. He has met with good success, and is bending his energies to reap the rewards and honors of his noble profession.


From "The History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the Sierras", by Prof. J. M. Guinn, Chicago: Chapman Publishing Co, 1906, p 740.

Prominent among the most energetic, capable and progressive pioneer settlers of Lassen county was the late George Fox Kelley, who did as much, if not more, than any other one man in developing and building up this part of northern California. By practical experience he proved to the unbelieving that the wild lands of Honey Lake valley could be reclaimed, and that the vast tracts of sage brush could be converted into a good agricultural region, abounding in well-cultivated and well-stocked farms that should bespeak the general prosperity of the people hereabouts. A native of Vermont, he was born February 28, 1826, in Rutland, and among the rugged hills of his native state he grew to a sturdy manhood.

While living in Rutland, George F. Kelley was for several years of his early life associated with the firm of Kelley Brothers as a salesman. This firm carried on an extensive business in getting out marble from the quarries and sawing it in their mills. In 1859 Mr. Kelley severed his connection with the firm, and with his family came by way of the Isthmus to California. Settling first in Oakland, he lived there a year, and then located in Sonoma county, about three miles from Santa Rosa, where he took up six hundred acres of land and began its improvement. Subsequently this land proved to be a part of an old Spanish grant, and for two years he fought it in the courts and was the leader of the settlers there, even making a trip to Washington, D.C., in order to establish his rights, but without avail, owing to the assassination of President Lincoln. After remaining in that county six years he came to Lassen county, and here preempted one hundred and sixty acres of land, took up a homestead claim of one hundred and six acres, and reclaimed five hundred acres of swamp land. In reclaiming this waste land he dug two canals, one thirty feet wide, and two miles long, and the other ten feet wide and a mile in length. Over two hundred and forty acres he placed under cultivation, and for a number of years raised large crops of grain. He also carried on an extensive cattle business, feeding them for market, and was thus engaged until his death.

Mr. Kelley married, in Rutland, Vt., Emily Button, who was born in that city June 14 1831, and is now living on the home farm, in Lassen county. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Kelley, five children were born, two of whom died in infancy. Three grew to years of maturity, namely: Clarence G. Frank A. and Edgar A.

From "The History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the Sierras", by Prof. J. M. Guinn, Chicago: Chapman Publishing Co, 1906, p 345.

[George F. Kelley] was one of a large family of sons who were reared on a farm, but in young manhood all followed the marble business. One brother, T. A., came to California and later sent back such glowing reports that George F. Kelley decided to follow him, in 1858 bringing his wife and two children on the Champion to the Isthmus of Panama, thence on the Moses H. Taylor to San Francisco. He located three miles south of Santa Rosa, Sonoma county, on a four hundred acre farm, a part of a Spanish grant; he refused to buy the property and for years fought the claim. He finally carried the matter to Washington, but this being at the time of the war the president was unable to give the necessary time and attention to the affair, and his death later prevented the fulfillment of his promise made at that time to look up the claim. In 1866 he was forced from his location and with the loss of all he had gained since coming to California he was compelled once more to begin a career. In the same year he came to Lassen county and in Honey Lake valley bought a ranch ten miles below Susanville; he had continued to add to this property until at his death, aged fifty-nine years, he owned two thousand acres devoted to pasturage and the raising of hay. He married Emily Button, also a native of Vermont and a daughter of Anson Button, a farmer, and the representative of an old New England family. Her great-grandfather on the paternal side served valiantly in the Revolutionary was, in which he would have come to his death had it not been for a little pocket Bible, which received the impact of the bullet meant for him. Mrs. Kelley survives her husband and now makes her home on the old ranch in Lassen county. Of the five sons born to them three attained maturity, namely: Clarence G., an attorney, who died in Susanvile [sic]; Frank Anson, of this review; and Edgar A., also an attorney having graduated from Hastings Law School, but who, instead of practicing his profession, engages in farming and stock-raising on the old homestead ....


From "The History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the Sierras", by Prof. J. M. Guinn, Chicago: Chapman Publishing Co, 1906, p 740.

Frank A., the second son, [of George Fox Kelley and Emily Button,] is a lawyer of prominence, and until his election as county judge of Lassen county was senior member of the law firm Kelley & Kelley.

From "The History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the Sierras", by Prof. J. M. Guinn, Chicago: Chapman Publishing Co, 1906, pp 345-5.

The Kelley family, represented in Lassen county by Judge Frank A. Kelley, of Susanville, is of New England ancestry, Vermont having been their home for several generations. Frank Anson Kelley was born in Danby, Rutland county, September 17, 1853, a son of George F. Kelley, who was a native of Otter Creek, same county....

Frank Anson Kelley was but five years old when he was brought to California by his parents, and thus practically his entire life has been spent among western scenes and conditions. He received his preliminary education in the public schools of Sonoma county, after which, in his new home in Lassen county, he attended the Johnstonville school in Honey Lake valley. At the age of seventeen years he went to Winnemucca, Nev., and became foreman on a cattle ranch for his uncle, I. V. Button, with whom he remained for three years. He owned several patents and in this interest went to San Francisco, where he met an old schoolmate, A. O. Colton, a son of F. D. Colton, a prominent attorney of the place; he there became interested in the intricacies of the law and a little later entered the offices of Colton, Wilson & Trout with the intention of mastering the study. May 4 1886, he was admitted to the practice of his profession and for two years remained a resident of San Francisco. The death of his father made it imperative for him to return to Lassen county and look after the interests of the large estate; he engaged, however, in ranching only until his election in 1889 to the office of district attorney. He served one term in that capacity and in 1890 was nominated for judge of the superior court, but was defeated in the election that followed by Judge Mastin. In 1896 he was renominated by the Republican party and was elected over three opponents by eleven votes. He took the oath of office in January, 1897, and served efficiently to the close of his term, when he was renominated and re-elected by a majority of one hundred and sixty votes, being the only judge of the county re-elected to a second term.

In San Francisco Judge Kelley was united in marriage with Miss May Livingston, a native of Oregon, and a daughter of D. C. Livingston, an early settler of the Pacific coast, and now a resident of Susanville. The judge and his wife having had five children, of whom four are living: George F. (a dentist of Truckee, Cal.), Maude M., Fred E. and Ruby B. Judge Kelley has always been a stanch adherent of the principles advocated in the platform of the Republican party, and has taken an active interest in their promulgation. Fraternally he is a member of the Silver Star No. 128, I.O.O.F., of Susanville, of which he is past grand.


From: History of Orange County, California: with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present. Illustrated By Samuel Armor

David E Cozad.---A man who has met with a large measure of success in life, David E Cozad now enjoys the reward attending sagacious and painstaking effort, and the adversities he has encountered in toiling along life's pathway have but served to develop the qualities of frugality, thrift and industry that are inherent traits received from a long line of American ancestors who have played no unimportant part in making the nation what it is today.

David E Cozad was born at Roseville, Warren County, Ill., April 27, 1857. His father, Henry, was a native of New Jersey, and his mother, Mary (Tuttle) Cozad, was born in Pennsylvania, in which state his parents were married. From Pennsylvania they journeyed overland in a wagon to Illinois, where the father farmed in Warren County and worked at carpentering and as a painter. They removed to Iowa when David was between eight and nine years of age, in 1866, and their life was spent on the frontier, keeping in advance of the railway building west through Iowa and Missouri to Nebraska. They lived in many different places and moved often, and when they located at Long Island, Kans., they were thirty miles in advance of the railway. David E. is the fourth child in order of birth in the family of nine children, consisting of one girl and eight boys. The daughter, Elizabeth Hillyard, is a widow and resides at Santa Ana. Stevenson, of Lincoln, Nebr.; James is a rancher in Buaro Precinct; William J. is a storekeeper at Westminster; Charles C. is a carpenter and builder at Santa Ana; Simeon I. clerks in a store at Westminster; Harry W. resides at Santa Ana, and Arthur, the youngest, is a rancher at Hemet.

Mr Cozad's educational advantages were limited, owing to their frontier life. His marriage occurred in 1880, near Seward, Nebr., and united him with Miss Nancy J Howard, a native of Lincoln, Nebr., who was educated in the common schools. Her father, Amos M Howard, was born in Indiana, and her mother, who was Zerelda Ray in maidenhood, was born in Missouri, where her parents were married. She and her brother Titus were the children of her father's first marriage, and they were made half orphans when Mrs Cozad was seventeen months old, by the death of her mother. Five children resulted from her father's second marriage, four of whom are living. Mrs Cozad's brother, Titus, is a lawyer at Greeley, Nebr., is county attorney, a Republican of the Forty-ninth District, and still retains his seat in the Nebraska Legislature to which he was elected. Her father was among the early California gold seekers and made his first trip to California in 1849.

Mr and Mrs Cozad are the parents of seven children, all of whom were born at Long Island, Kans., except Henry A., the eldest, who was born at Seward, Nebr. He is one of the employees of the Fresno Building Association and married Miss Montana Gibson of Los Angeles, and they have two children. Mary Z is the wife of Fred Hoffmann of Redondo, an employee of the Standard Oil Company at El Segundo, and they have one child. Charles T died in Kansas City at the age of seven. David J was accidentally killed in 1905, when nineteen years old, by an electric shock while working as a lineman at Redondo. Leslie E died when five days old. Florence is the wife of Richard Criddle, a rancher at Gridley, Cal., and they have two children. Arthur W is a rancher and owns ten acres in Buaro Precinct; he married Ola Oliphant of Kansas, and they are the parents of one child.

After his marriage Mr Cozad followed the trade of house painter and decorator for one year at Seward, Nebr., and in 1882 moved to Kansas, where he homesteaded 160 acres at Long Island, proved up on it, sold it, and purchased 160 acres of school land at Long Island. He was principally engaged in farming and raising cattle and swine before he came to California in the spring of 1901. He lived at Redondo in 1902-3, where he was employed as a car builder, and came to Buaro Precinct in 1903, where he purchased forty acres of land, planted twenty acres of it to walnuts and Valencia oranges and gave twenty acres of it to four of his children. Mr Cozad has the American knack of being able to handle tools of almost every kind, and can do cement work as well as house painting. He and his excellent wife are kindly and hospitable, and Mrs Cozad is a woman of rare good sense and motherly qualities, a humanitarian in her views and wide-awake to all that is of benefit to the community. Fraternally Mr Cozad is a member of the Santa Ana lodge of IOOF and in his political views is a consistent Republican, and both he and his wife are members of the Rebekahs.


History of Lake County, Valley Publishers, 1759, Fulton Street, Fresno, CA 93721, 1974. Reprinted from History of Napa and Lake Counties, CA, Slocum, Bowen and Company, San Francisco, 1881. Historian of this book was Lyman L. Palmer. Biographical Sketch, p. 227

"COBB, JOHN. Was born in Henry County, Kentucky, May 19, 1814. His father was a farmer. When John was but a child, his father moved to Indiana where they remained for six years, when they returned to Kentucky. When John was sixteen years of age, they returned to Indiana and his father resided in Jefferson County for five years, and then moved to Arkansas, where he died.

In 1832, John went to Vigo County, Indiana, on the Wabash River, where he followed keel-boating, carrying freight to all the towns on the river. In October, on one of his trips, he laid up for the night at the foot of Coffee Island, eight miles below the Grand Rapids and two miles below Mount Carmel. About eight o'clock, he noticed quite a commotion taking place with the stars; they all seemed to be falling towards the earth; they seemed to increase thicker and faster until about midnight, when all of them seemed to part in the center above, falling towards the earth in all directions. They resembled many balls of fire, each leaving a brilliant light behind it; one would not get out of sight til another would be coming on the same line. The whole firmament seemed to be in a blaze of fire; it was the most beautiful sight he ever saw in his life. The stars seemed to gradually decrease in motion until about four o'clock in the morning, when all was quiet and every star was in its proper place.

He then proceeded down the rive into the Ohio, and down that stream to Paducah, at the mouth of the Tennessee River; he then went up the Tennessee with the keel-boat to Florence, in Tennessee; then he returned to Indiana - to the Grand Rapids, on the Wabash River. There he put in a crop of corn, sold it out, and went to Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, where he got a team and went back to Madison, in Jefferson County, after his mother, two sisters and brother and moved to Iowa Territory. They stopped at a place called Bloomington, which had one house in it, owned by John Vanater, the proprietor of the place. It soon grew up, however, to be quite a village and place of trade. It is located on the banks of the upper Mississippi River, thirty miles below Rock Island and sixty miles above Burlington. The name has since been changed to Muscatine City, Muscatine County.

He then resided in that place where he followed farming and trading, for three years. In 1839, he took his mother on a visit to her mother who resided in Madison, Indiana, left her there and went south to New Orleans February 29, 1840. His mother died during his absence. He returned to Madison, Indiana in April of that year. From there he returned to Iowa; staying there until fall, and started for Texas; got as far as Arkansas and was taken sick with the white swelling, which left him a cripple for life. He gave up the trip to Texas and returned again to Iowa in the spring of 1841, and remained there until 1843.

He then went to Quincy, Illinois. Was married to Miss Jane Ann Leypold, April 18, 1845, who was a native of Ohio. Their first child, a son, was born February 18, 1845 and died August 15, 1845. The next, a daughter, was born January 13, 1847. He lost his wife on January 12, 1848 and his daughter died January 16, 1848.

On August 17, 1848, he was married to his second wife, Miss Esther E. Deming, who is still living. She is a native of Ohio, and the mother of six children, whose names are as follows: John Rufus, George Oliver, Joseph Deming, Mary H. O., William Thomas, and Hester E., who are all living. The first one, John R. was born September 22, 1849, and the sixth one, Hester E., was born July 8, 1858.

In the spring of 1850, he started across the plains with an ox-team en route for California, bringing his family, consisting then of his wife and one child with him. They reached Salt Lake, August 17, 1850, but owing to the delicate health of Mrs. Cobb, they remained there until the spring of 1851, when they crossed the mountains, and arrived at Ringgold, near Placerville, California on July 1st of that year. He then engaged in mining for about three weeks, when he bought into a grocery store and kept boarding house, which business he followed until September.

He then sold out and moved to Napa Valley, Napa County and rented a place of John S. Stark, about four miles below Calistoga Springs, which he farmed one year. He sold his crop and went to Oregon in September 1852, and spent one year there, and returned to Napa County in August 1853. He then rented a place of John Tucker and Peter Teal for farming purposes.

In October of the same year, he went north of Napa Valley, towards Clear Lake, and took up a place in what is now known as Cobb Valley, which took its name after him, he being the first settler there. He then moved his family there in November 1853; a wild wilderness of a place, inhabited by various kinds of wild game and animals; elk, deer, bears, panthers, wolves, wild cats and foxes. In 1854, he was solicited to run for the office of County Assessor and was elected. He assessed Napa County in 1855. He lived about five years in Cobb Valley, then sold out and moved to Napa Valley again; bought a tract of land in the said valley of M. D. Ritchie, and remained on it about eighteen months, and sold it out. He then moved out to Calyomi Valley and settled near where Middletown is now. He then farmed and raised stock on that place about three years.

About that time, Lake County was segregated from Napa County. He was then put in charge of the grants by Robert Waterman. He farmed that ranch two years, and leased out the farms on the grants to the settlers.

He then moved to Sonoma County; remained there two years educating his children, and then returned to Lake County with his family to his place that he had previously entered, containing five hundred and twenty acres.

He resided on this farm about four years, improving it; then moved to Healdsburg; resided there about eighteen months, completing the education of his children.

He then returned with his family to Lake County, to his farm, where he has resided ever since. By referring to the dates, it will be found that Mr. Cobb is about the first white settler, or the oldest settler, now in Lake County."

John Cobb died 12 November 1893 at his home in the Little High Valley, Lower Lake, Lake County, California.


“History of Contra Costa County, California with Biographical Sketches”
Illustrated. Complete in one volume
Los Angeles: Historic Record Company, 1926

Elisha C. Harlan biographical sketch on pages 449-451 (this is also listed in the index for Joel Harlan and possibly other mentioned in the sketch)

Elisha C. Harlan. – In all sections of the world the pioneer is highly honored, especially in California, where the present generation realizes that the marvelous development that has characterized the early decades of the twentieth century is due to the determination of those hardy and fearless pioneers who with heroic fortitude faced the hardships of an overland journey and the greater hardships connected with the transforming of an unknown and sparsely settled region into one of the greatest commonwealths in the United States of America. The subject of this sketch, Elisha C. Harlan, is a worthy son of an honored pioneer of California, and is himself a native son, having been born in San Francisco, June 9, 1850, a son of Joel and Minerva (Fowler) Harlan.

Joel Harlan was born in Wayne County, Ill., [Indiana] on September 27, 1828. He was a son of George Harlan, who was born on January 1, 1802, in Lincoln County, Ky., and who married Elizabeth Duncan in 1823. In 1846 [actually 1845 in Niles, Michigan] George Harlan outfitted for the trip across the plains, having covered wagons drawn by oxen. He brought his wife and son Joel with him, and was accompanied by William and Henry Fowler. The two last named had come to this State in 1843 and Henry worked on the General Vallejo home in Vallejo. They soon returned to their home [in the East], only to decide to come again to California with the Harlan train. George Harlan’s train was the very first train to cross the great desert south of Salt Lake. The following were the children of George Harlan: Rebecca, Mrs. Ira Van Gorden, died in 1847; Mary, Mrs. Henry C. Smith, died in 1923 [1922]; Joel; Nancy, Mrs. L[ucien] B[onaparte] Huff; [Samuel]; Elisha, deceased; Jacob, died in 1848 in Santa Clara. Elizabeth Duncan Harlan died in Santa Clara County in 1846. The second wife of George Harlan was Catherine (Fowler) Hargrave. Their children were Sarah Ann, Mrs. J[ames] H[enry] Farley; and George. George Harlan, the father, died on July 8, 1850, at Mission San Jose.

Joel Harlan and others members of the family were stopped at Mission San Jose [Mission Santa Clara] prior to locating in San Francisco in 1846. He conducted a livery stable and ran a dairy, milk being delivered on horseback in those days. San Francisco had only a little over 250 population at that time. When gold was discovered he sold his livery business and other interests, went to Coloma, and opened up a general store, which he operated for a year. He then moved to San Lorenzo, bought a place and remained a short time, and then bought a ranch on the county line between Alameda and Contra Costa County in 1852. Some time later he exchanged that ranch for 1040 acres located where Elisha C. Harlan, our subject, now lives, in the San Ramon Valley. To this he added until he owned 1756 acres. This land has never been divided among the heirs of Joel Harlan.

Joel Harlan was married in 1848 [1849] to Minerva Jane Fowler, at Sonoma, Cal., the ceremony being performed by ex-Governor Boggs, of Mississippi [Missouri]. He and his wife had the following children: Elisha C., of this review; [Anna E.]; Laura M., deceased; Mary, Mrs. William Llewellyn, deceased; Helena, Mrs. Fred[erick] Osborne [Osborn], of Oakland; Horace [E.], deceased; Henry, deceased; Fred[erick], of Pittsburg [California]; and Addie [Adeline], Mrs. Fred[Erick] A[ugustus] Stolp, of Piedmont.

Elisha Harlan attended school at Oakland and supplemented his studies with a course in Heald’s Business College on Post Street. At one time, also, he attended a military school for one and one-half years. After leaving the business college he returned to the home ranch and helped with the managing of the place until his father’s death. After the death of his father he purchased a ranch for himself from the heirs of Major Russell, and here he made his home for twenty-five years, and also operated the old home place. At the request of his mother he finally moved back to the old home ranch, where he now resides. He is engaged in cattle-raising, and even now, though seventy-six years old, rides his horse every day to superintend the 1200 acres of the Harlan Ranch.

On November 14, 1872, Elisha C. Harlan was united in marriage with Elmina Plamondon, the daughter and only child of Euzebe and Eleanor (Fillbrook) Plamondon, the former of French descent, the latter from Canada. She was reared and educated in Portland, Ore., and at Notre Dame in San Jose, where she specialized in music, finally graduating in Salem, Ore., under her old teacher. Mr. and Mrs. Harlan were blessed with two children: Mabel P. and Joel A. Mabel P. married Frank Davidson and now resides in Oakland. She has one son, Harlan W[ayland]., a graduated of Oakland High School and the University of California. He is married and has a son, Harlan W., Jr. Joel A. is deceased. Mr. Harlan is a lover of life in the great out-of-doors and is especially fond of deer-hunting and fishing. He has inherited from his father and grandfather a fondness for cattle-raising, and it can be said to his credit that he maintains the splendid record of the Harlans for good cattle. Fraternally he was a member of Danville Parlor, N.S.G.W. [Native Sons of the Golden West], and also of the Grange. He has manifested his interest in educational matters by serving as a school trustee of his district. Possessing a cheerful and optimistic sprit, Mr. Harlan has a wide circle of warm friends and is highly esteemed in the community where he has resided for so many years.” END

Transcribed and submitted by Steve Harrison Hendersonville, NC


History of Stanislaus County California 1881, Published by Elliott & Moore, San Francisco, 1881.

Transcribed by Leslie Odell Macchiarella September 12, 2008

Page 172, Biographical Sketches of Prominent Persons:

OSMOND JOHNSON, born April 13, 1836, near Christiana, Norway, is the son of Jens and Mary Johnson. When he was seventeen years of age he emigrated, in company with his parents, to America. They went to Quebec, Canada, and proeeded to Columbia county, Wisconsin, where they resided until 1856, when he started for California, by going down the Mississippi river to New Orleans, where he joined the Walker expedition going West, via Nicaragua. They completed the journey in twenty-five days, and arrived in San Francisco in the fall of 1856.

Mr. Johnson went to Folsom soon after his arrival in San Francisco, commenced mining and continued in the search for gold for four years, with moderate success. After he had accumulated considerable "dust" he took a trip to his old home in Wisconsin, and in June 13, 1861, was married to Miss Helene Jensen, a native of Norway.

Soon after his marriage, Mr. Johnson and wife left for California with a drove of cattle. They traveled with ox-teams, and while on the plains were considerably harassed by Indians, who stole their cattle. They were on the road six months, and arrived at Stockton in 1861, where Mr. Johnson remained engaged in farming until 1868 when he located in Stanislaus county, his present home; here he still follows his former occupation, farming and teaming.

Mr. Johnson's farm, of dark sandy loam, consists of seventeen hundred acres of land, producing fifteen bushels of wheat per acre. Mr. Johnson not only devotes his attention to wheat growing, but finds time to devote to raising fine blooded horses of Belmont and Hambletonian stock. He has exhibited his animals at Stockton and Modeto fairs where they took several premiums.

Mr. Johnson's home which is well improved and comfortable, is seven miles from Modesto, six miles from railroad and three miles from the river. Mr. Johnson's married life has been blessed with several children, one of whom, Albert, died in 1869. Those remaining are Marcus, Albert, and Josephine.


An Illustrated History of Southern California, page 865. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1890

Albert Johnson Chaffee

Albert Johnson Chaffee, of Garden Grove, was born in Kane County, Illinois, in April, 1848. His parents, Eber and Anna (Davis) Chaffee, emigrated from Vermont to Illinois in 1840, locating upon a farm twelve miles from Elgin, where he successfully carried on farming and stock-raising until his death in 1877, his wife having died a year previous. They had in all twelve children, of whom nine are still living. Albert was educated at Jennings Seminary, Aurora, Illinois. He subsequently taught school in Kane County, Illinois, and in Clinton County, Iowa. He has been a citizen of the Golden State since 1881; owns some valuable land on the Ocean View road, besides his residence property in Garden Grove. He is energetic, enterprising, public-spirited and enjoys the confidence and respect of his fellow-citizens.

In 1873 Mr. Chaffee married Miss Susan E. Ambrose, who was born in Maine, the daughter of Rev. Samuel and Henrietta (Greeley) Ambrose, also from New England. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Chaffee are: Mettie E., Edward A., Burns S. and Ralph A. Both Mr. and Mrs. Chaffee are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Chaffee is a strong temperance Republican.


Armor, Samuel (ed.), History of Orange County California with Biographical Sketches, pages 703-704. Los Angeles: Historic Record Company, 1911

JAMES R. SHEARER

One of the well known and progressive men of the city of Anaheim is James R. Shearer, who is a native son of the Golden West, born in San Francisco April 3, 1858. His parents, Harry and Mary (Morris) Shearer, were native of Pennsylvania and New York, respectively. During the rush for the shining metal in the latter part of 1849, Harry Shearer became imbued with the desire to avail himself of the chance to enrich himself and accordingly came to California across the plains. He evidently did not find the search for gold very profitable, for he later engaged in the merchandise business in San Francisco and it was here that he passed away in 1864; his wife survived him until 1867, having in the meantime married again.

In Sonoma county J.R. Shearer received his schooling and was reared on a ranch, and afterwards was engaged in ranching both in Sonoma and Napa counties. It was in Napa county that he was married to Miss Bessie Spielman, a native of that county. After their marriage he secured a position as foreman of a large ranch in that locality, which position he retained for eight or nine years. In 1898 he came south to Orange county looking for a location and bought twenty acres of raw land near Anaheim. There was an old house on the place and a few trees, and with characteristic energy he began to improve it to make a comfortable home and when his finances would permit erected a commodious house and suitable outbuildings. He set out fourteen acres to walnuts and also some oranges, and his ranch has since become one of the valuable places in the locality. He carried on the ranch until 1910, when he disposed of ten acres on the east side, retaining the other ten acres as his home place. Besides this place he farmed from one hundred to one hundred and fifty acres near Anaheim, upon which he raised grain and vegetables with good success.

To Mr. and Mrs. Shearer four children were born, as follows: Lester, born May 3, 1893; Harry, July 20, 1899; Freddie, June 24, 1902; and Elmer, who was born May 15, 1904, and died March 24, 1905. In politics Mr. Shearer is a Democrat in national policies, but on local issues supports the men and measures that are best suited to advance the interests of the county and his own locality. He is a stockholder in the Anaheim Union Water Company and has favored all measures for the development of the water supply in this section. He started out for himself but a mere boy, and by the concentration of his energies has accumulated a value property and with his wife and sons is enjoying the fruits of his labors. During his residence in Orange county he has shown that public spirit so often displayed in the sons and daughters of the Argonauts, and has been a stanch supporter of all things that have been advanced to build up the Golden State.


Armor, Samuel (ed.), History of Orange County California with Biographical Sketches, pages 570-571. Los Angeles: Historic Record Company, 1911

N. B. [Napoleon Bonaparte] Underwood

A resident of California since 1888 and one of the well-known ranchers of Orange County, N. B. Underwood is a native of Massachusetts, having been born in Boston in 1838, and there he made his home until he was seventeen years old. He wanted to see something of the west, as it was known at that time, and in 1855 he located to Clayton County, Iowa. For the following eleven years he was engaged in farming, also bought stock for some time; later on he embarked in the general merchandise business and for four years carried on a very remunerative enterprise. In 1888 he disposed of his holdings in the Middle West and decided to come to California to avoid the rigorous climate of that section of the county.

Upon his arrival here on May 1, 1888, Mr. Underwood purchased twenty acres of land in what was made Orange County the following year. He paid $100 per acre, and after he had improved it he traded it for a stock of goods which he found a ready sale for, and removed with his family to Santa Ana. He resided in the county seat for a time and then returned to Garden Grove and embarked in the mercantile business and has been so engaged ever since. He has built up a large and profitable business in the surrounding country and has become well and favorably known.

M. Underwood’s first marriage occurred in Iowa in 1876* and united him with Emeline Teets, and four children were born of this marriage. Albert married Miss Harlin and makes his home in Holtville, Cal.; Herbert P. married Hattie Gillette, and their son, Clarence, also live in Holtville; Mertie N. became the wife of William McClintock, by whom she had two children, Robert and Anna; and Jennie S., the wife of A. E. Proctor, is the mother of three children, Wilmer, Carmen and Bernard. Mr. Underwood’s second wife was in maidenhood Miss F. A. June, a native of Illinois and the daughter of a prominent physician in Randalia, Iowa, their marriage taking place in Fayette County, Iowa. No children were born of this union, but by a former marriage Mrs. Underwood had two daughters. The eldest of these, Lena M., became the wife of Samuel Hill, of Garden Grove, and they have two daughters, Belle and Edith; Belle M. became the wife of Ernest Chaffee and is living at Huntington Beach, where he is employed by the sugar company; they have five children, Lamar, Dorr, Keith, Ray and Helen.

In politics Mr. Underwood is a Republican and with his wife is a member of the Methodist Church. He has followed several lines of business, but prefers the mercantile business to any other. Since becoming a resident of this county he has formed a large circle of acquaintances and among these he is well and favorably known.

*Researcher’s note: 1876 is probably a typo and should read 1867. The four children of the first marriage were born in 1868, 1870, 1872 and 1874. The second marriage took place in 1878.


Armor, Samuel (ed.), History of Orange County California with Biographical Sketches, pages 565-566. Los Angeles: Historic Record Company, 1911

ROBERT McCLINTOCK

The early memories of Mr. McClintock are centered around his home in northern Ireland, where he was born, in County Tyrone, in 1857. His parents were natives and life-time residents of the Emerald Isle, and he himself was reared in his native surroundings until attaining young manhood. At the age of nineteen he came to America and the vessel on which he sailed dropped anchor in a Canadian port. For two years thereafter he remained in that locality, having found employment in a store. From there he went to Philadelphia, remaining there for the same length of time, after which, in 1882, he came across the continent to California. Settling in Garden Grove, Orange county, in 1882, he worked on ranches in that locality for a number of years, or until 1888, when he came to Westminster and assumed the lease of sixteen hundred acres of the Hellman tract. His first crop consisted of corn and potatoes, but of late he has made a specialty of raising barley and oats. During the year 1909 he gathered twelve hundred and ninety-six tons of barley hay. Fifty head of horses are employed in the care and harvesting of the crops. The raising of fine draft horses is also an important feature of the ranch, an enterprise started in 1902, when Mr. McClintock imported three fine Clydesdale stallions from Scotland. He not only raises stock for his own use, but also raises them for the market, and from his branch alone he realizes a handsome income.

Before coming to the west, Mr. McClintock was married in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1882, to Isabella Rankin, and five children, three sons and two daughters, have been born to them, Robert J., Mary E. (a teacher in the public school at Westminster), Anna B., William J. and David H. All of the sons assist in the maintenance of the ranch and their help and co-operation have contributed largely to the success of the enterprise. The family are communicants and members of the Presbyterian Church, and fraternally Mr. McClintock belongs to Westminster Lodge No. 72, I.O.O.F., and to the Woodmen of the World. Politically he is a Republican.


History of Orange County California with Biographical Sketches, Page 481, 1921.

Thomas Hill One of the most highly esteemed citizens of Stanton, Orange County, is Thomas Hill, who has been a resident of that section of the county for thirty years. Mr. Hill is a native of Ireland, born in 1858, the son of William and Margaret Hill, whose family consisted of seven sons and one daughter, five of whom emigrated to the United States.

Thomas Hill came to Orange County in 1883 and since that time has witnessed many marvelous changes and developments. He is the owner of sixty acres of fine land which he devotes to general farming. This land was in its primitive state when Mr. Hill purchased it, but after years of hard work and close attention to its special needs he has brought it up to a high state of development, and has installed many modern improvements for the operation of his ranch as well as for the comfort and convenience of his cozy home. He is regarded as one of the most progressive ranchers of his community, a man of strict integrity and probity of character, well known for his patriotism. It is a recognized fact that many of the natives of the Emerald Isle are counted among the best and most loyal citizens of the United States, being friends of education and enlightenment.

In 1888 Mr. Hill was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Tait, also a native of Ireland, and the daughter of George and Matilda Tait. Of this union three children were born: Matilda, who is a graduate of the State Normal School; William and Margaret E. The family are members of the Episcopal Church and Mr. Hill is a Mason, a member of the Buena Park Lodge No. 537, F. & A. M. For six years he has held the office of trustee of the city of Stanton and has been an efficient member of the school board for eight years.


An Illustrated History of Southern California, pages 864-865. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1890

Dorr B. Chaffee

Dorr B. Chaffee, a resident of resident of Garden Grove, was born in Kane County, Illinois, in 1841, a son of Eber and Anna (Davis) Chaffee, natives of Vermont, and of English and Scotch origin. His father was born in 1799, and died in 1877, and his mother, born in 1803, died in 1876. The subject of this sketch, the first in their family of twelve children, born in Illinois, was educated at Elgin Academy. Afterward he taught school in Kane County, and then engaged in the dairy business a number of years at Elgin. He came to California in 1881; has made a beautiful home in Garden Grove, and own valuable property in Santa Ana. He is a true Christian man and respected by all who know him.

He was married in 1865 to Miss Lodona Treadwell, who was born in Canada, but reared in Kane County, Illinois, in which county her father, J. Martin Treadwell, was a well-known dairyman. By this marriage there were five children: John M., deceased; George D., Ernest A., Fannie L., and Martin H., deceased. Their mother died in June, 1881, and Mr. Chaffee, in September 1883, married Miss Helen B. Willits, who was born at Delhi, Michigan. Her parents were Walter W. and Charlotte (Bottsford) Willits. He was a miller by trade and had twelve children. One of his sons, Edwin Willits, served two terms in Congress, from Michigan, and is now in the Agricultural Department in Washington. He also served as president of the Michigan State Agricultural College, near Lansing. Mrs. Chaffee was educated at Delhi and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her brothers and sisters are: Edwin, Lizzie, now Mrs. Nichols, of Marysville, Michigan; Addie of Garden Grove, and Eugene, of Jackson, Michigan. By Mr. Chaffee’s last marriage there is one child, Eugene Willits, born June 15, 1885.


History of Orange County California with Biographical Sketches, Page 245-246, 1921.

Napoleon Bonaparte Helms

An old resident of Orange County whose life has been fraught with interesting events is Napoleon Bonaparte Helms, who was born in Missouri on April 15, 1844, the son of Huston and Nancy Helms, natives respectively of Indiana and Missouri. A pair of twins was granted these worthy parents, and our subject was one, his brother, Lafayette, who died in May, 1919, being the other.

While yet a young man, Napoleon was to be found in Texas following the enterprise, in which so many young men of that day engaged, of stock raising. The Far West, however, soon proved more alluring to him; and when the opportunity was offered him to join a company of some fifty persons then being organized in Texas, each with the same ambition, namely, to reach California and the Land of Gold, he did so, and started on the venturesome trip. They trusted in the courage of their hearts and the strength of their arms, and believed that they would reach the desired-for haven, and perhaps that was why little out of the ordinary occurred on their journey of four months by ox-team, until they reached San Bernardino in November, 1859. There Mr. Helms made his home, working at various pursuits, and taking up farming by way of preference when he could.

In 1867 Mr. Helms returned to Texas and with two uncles bought a herd of 1,800 steers to drive to California on speculation. Cattle at that time cost about five to eight dollars a head, and it was predicted that the Medlin Train, so-called because of the name of the leader, would realize a handsome profit on the deal. Everything went well until they got about 120 miles from El Paso, in the Guadalupe Mountains, when they were attacked by Indians; and while they were overpowered to some extent, they lost only their cattle and all their horses. There were only sixteen men against eighty Indians, and they fought them for two days. The ox-teams and their lives were saved by hard fighting, and in October, 1968, they reached California.

At San Bernardino, in 1869, Mr. Helms married Miss Elizabeth Long, one of the attractive ladies then in this western country, and three children were born to them: William L., Isabelle T., wife of William Prichard, of Laguna, and Rosie Jane, wife of Joseph Glines, of Oakdale. Six years later, in 1875, Mr. Helms came to Los Angeles, now Orange County, and located at Santa Ana, at that time a very same town with only one store for the accommodation of the few pioneers; and here, for twenty-nine years, he followed well drilling. Mrs. Helms passed away in October, 1914, at the age of sixty-five, beloved by all who knew her.

Now Mr. Helms owns a trim little ranch of five acres, highly cultivated and maintained in a manner such as would do anyone credit, upon which he conducts general farming and where he is visited by his many friends; and there, too, he discusses national politics, with the enthusiastic bias of a Jeffersonian Democrat, but also as an American citizen who will always put the welfare of his community ahead of party triumphs, and who, therefore, never permits partisanship to affect him in his attitude toward strictly local measures and movements.


Armor, Samuel (ed.), History of Orange County California with Biographical Sketches, pages 699-700. Los Angeles: Historic Record Company, 1911

WILLIAM J. HILL

Born in the north of Ireland of Scotch-Irish ancestry, William J. Hill came to America when a young man and after a short stay in New York City continued his journey on to California. After spending three years in San Francisco, in 1868 he came to Southern California and in Los Angeles County purchased land. He first bargained for eighty acres of unimproved land, for which he paid $10 per acre, beginning to improve it by building a small house and plowing some of the land. He put out eucalyptus and forest trees, also pines and evergreens, and a little later put out peaches, pears, apricots and prunes for home use. He raised grain on his ranch and also bought a threshing outfit and followed that business throughout Southern California for several years and became very well known. As he prospered he bought another forty acres which he put into grain. This is considered very valuable property, as oil has been developed on adjacent land. This and the home place has a valuation of about $400 an acre.

Mr. Hill was married, in 1880, to Sarah McClintock, by whom four children were born; Robert Hill; Sarah, in Los Angeles; Lizzie, the wife of Willard Aldrich; and Annie Hill, of San Francisco. Mrs. Hill passed away in 1890 and in 1891 occurred the marriage of Mr. Hill to Blanche L. Spielman. Of this union eight children were born, four daughters and four sons, as follows: Blanche, Edith, Laura, and Jessie, and Harry, George, William and Theodore. In politics Mr. Hill is a Republican, but has never sought office. He and his wife are members of the Episcopal Church of Anaheim. Mr. Hill is a member and past grand of Anaheim Lodge, I.O.O.F., a member and past grand patriarch of the Encampment, is past commander of Anaheim Tent, K.O.T.M., and he and his wife are members of the Rebekahs.

Mr. Hill has been a resident of Orange County for over forty-two years and took an active part in its organization as a separate county. He is numbered among the very oldest settlers in this locality and has seen the development of the raw land into productive ranches and the building up of the cities and towns throughout all of Southern California. By all who know him he is recognized as one of the public spirited citizens of Orange County.


History of Yolo County, California: By Tom Gregory; Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, CA - 1913

M. S. Bentz

The business interests and commercial progress of Woodland receive the constant co-operation of Mr. Bentz, who since coming to this city during 1906 has identified himself with movements for the local upbuilding and has proved the high value of his capable citizenship. Such success as he has achieved - and it is by no means insignificant-results from his own determination and unaided efforts. As a boy he had little opportunity to advance in the world, but, sturdily resolved to secure an education, he paid his own expenses as he was attending various institutions in the east. The result was that he acquired a varied knowledge and also gained what is even more to be desired, viz.: an abundance of self-reliance and independence. A member of an old Pennsylvania family, he was born in York county, that state, April 11, 1851, and was next to the youngest in a family of ten children, five of whom are still living. The parents, George and Nancy (Grove) Bentz, were born in York county, lived upon farming land there and remained in the same locality until death.

When the completion of public-school studies seemed to indicate to M.S. Bentz that his educational opportunities had ended he started to work to secure further advantages, so that he made it possible to attend the Shippensburg Normal and the York high school. From the latter institution he was graduated at the age of nineteen. Later he taught school in York and Cumberland counties for eight years, meanwhile attending the Holbrook Normal School at Lebanon, Ohio, and graduating from its commercial department. During March of 1877 he landed in Kansas and purchased land in Rice county, where he was bereaved by the death of his wife, who was Abbie Heikes, a native of Pennsylvania. In the fall following her death he removed to Stafford, Kan., and embarked in the mercantile business. For a time he was prospered, but a cyclone in 1881 destroyed his store, ruined the stock of goods and left him without means to start anew. Thereupon he embarked in the freighting business in Colorado, where he remained for eighteen months. Upon his return to Kansas he settled in Canton, McPherson county, and opened a mercantile store, which he conducted for ten years. Later he engaged in the same business at Eldorado, Butler county, Kan., for ten years.

Coming to California during January of 1904 Mr. Bentz bought land in Sutter county and planted an orchard. Two years later he came to woodland and purchased the store of Powell Brothers, whom he succeeded as proprietor of the little establishment. Here he has since built up a large trade and has carried a full line of notions and furnishing goods. Thoroughly devoted to Woodland, he entertains a profound liking for the city of his adoption and champions every measure for local progress. In national affairs he had been a close student and the result of his studies is that he supports socialist principles, being a firm believer in the adoption of national measures that will aid the day laborer and prevent the enormous wealth of our country from being concentrated in the hands of a few. Fraternally he holds membership with the Modern Woodmen of America. The Woodland Methodist Episcopal Church has the benefit of his active co-operation with every movement for its spiritual and material upbuilding and as a member of the official board he is rendering efficient service in its interests. While making his home at Canton, Kan., he was united in marriage with Miss Florence L. Cronk, who was born in Oneida county, N.Y. Six children were born of their union, namely: May, who died in Eldorado, Kan.; Charles W., now living in Woodland; Earl S., who is employed at Long Beach, this state; Ruth, Mary E. and Herbert, who still remain with their parents in the Woodland home.


"History of Butte County, Cal.," by George C. Mansfield, Pages 561-562, Historic Record Co, Los Angeles, CA, 1918.

WILLIAM W. WILLIAMS

One who can truly be called an “old timer” as well as a native son, William W. Williams, of Chico, traces his ancestry back to a patriot who served in the Revolutionary War. This patriot had a son named David who was born in North Carolina and who was the grandfather of our subject; he served as fife major in the War of 1812. With his wife, Tryphena Shirley, in 1817, he removed to Tennessee, where he remained until 1848, then they migrated to Missouri and there he remained with his family and farmed until 1854, when he crossed the plains to California and spent his last days in the land of sunshine and flowers. In his family there was a son, James Madison Williams, a native of Tennessee, born June 3, 1818. He married Lucinda Hudspeth, in Missouri, May 10, 1841; she was born in Missouri on February 19, 1825. With his wife and family and other relatives, James Madison came to California in 1856, and made a settlement in Stockton. Near there he farmed and mined, owning a large interest in the Copperopolis Mine. Some years later he removed to Upper Lake, in Lake County, and for three years he followed stock-raising at the head of Clear Lake. In 1867, Mr. Williams and his family moved to Butte County and, finding a favorable location on Butte Creek, he bought a ranch and continued the stock business. He became a large landowner and a prosperous and prominent rancher of that section. His next move was to a stock ranch on Little Dry Creek. Mr. and Mrs. Williams became the parents of three sons and four daughters, of whom two of the former, William W. and J. T., and one of the latter, Mrs. Eliza Parks, are living. Their mother died in 1862. The second marriage of James M. Williams united him with Mrs. Elizabeth Brown, who died at Red Bluff, in 1917, leaving three sons and one daughter.

William W. Williams was born on the ranch near Stockton, on the road to Sonora, May 5, 1855. When he was nine years old he was taken to Lake County by his parents, and four years later accompanied them to Butte County. At that time there were no railroads in the county. He lived on Dry Creek and went to school to John C. Gray, who later became judge of the superior court of Butte County, and who was always one of the best friends Mr. Williams had in the county. At the age of nineteen Mr. Williams started out for himself and followed stock-raising. He established the W brand at that time and has kept it ever since and it is well known among the stockmen of Northern California.

On January 31, 1877, in Oroville, W. W. Williams was united in marriage with Miss Sena Brown, born in Charleston, Iowa, the daughter of Isaac N. and Amanda (Ohaver) Brown. Isaac N. Brown was born in Indiana on April 6, 1833, a son of William Brown, born in the same state on May 28, 1802, who was a farmer and shoemaker and was married to Sena Brown. The progenitor of the Brown family in America was William Brown who came from Ireland and settled in Pennsylvania in 1770. He served in the Revolutionary War and later he removed to Indiana, where he farmed till his death. His wife was Jamima Riggs. Isaac N. Brown located in Nebraska and at Lowell was engaged in the hotel business, still later he removed to Omaha, and in 1876 brought his family to California. He lived in this state for a time and then moved to Grangeville, Idaho and farmed there till his death, at the age of sixty-tree years. The mother of Mrs. Williams was a native of Ohio, born on January 19, 1835, and now, at the age of eighty-four years, she is in good health and lives at Venice, Cal. She had five children, of whom Mrs. Williams is the eldest; the next in order of birth is Horace E., of Washington; then Mary, Mrs. Brand, of Venice; next is Rose, Mrs. Hansard, of Ocean Park; and Alla, Mrs. Vincent, now residing at Santa Monica.

Soon after his marriage, Mr. Williams bought one hundred sixty acres of land in the Stoneman district and engaged in raising grain and stock. He made two different trips into Idaho, spending three years in all, but kept his land and stock in Butte County. While he was gone his taxes became delinquent and his good friend and adviser, Judge Gray, paid them. From time to time he added to his holdings and now has eighteen hundred thirty acres on Little Dry Creek, about fifteen miles east of Chico. This ranch is fenced and cross-fenced and is fully improved. Here he has some three hundred Shorthorn-Hereford cattle.

Since 1902, Mr. Williams has made his home in Chico, where he owns a comfortable residence on Park Avenue. He still keeps up his interest in the stock business and rides the range frequently in looking after his herd of cattle. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Williams: James Andrew, a banker at Durham; Alla Amanda, Mrs. Curry, of Salt Lake City; and Claude M., assisting his father on the ranch, and also acting as a deputy assessor of the county. Mr. Williams is a member of the Fraternal Brotherhood and the Loyal Order of Moose. In politics he is a Democrat.


"History of Kings County" By Robert R. Brown & J. E. Richmond, Page 303, A.H. Cawston, Publisher, Hanford, CA, 1940.

LAVOY LANDIS

A real old timer of Hanford is Lavoy Landis, who was born in Bedford [county], Tennessee, on October 1, 1874, the son of S. L. [Solon Lee] and Fanny (Dunaway) Landis. He first went to school in Tennessee, but his parents bringing him to Hanford in 1889, he continued his education here and was a member of the first class to graduate from Hanford High School.

As a young man, Mr. Landis worked in a meat market operated by his father in Hanford, continuing as an employee until 1898 when he took over the market himself, financing it with money which he had saved and with assistance from a bank.He operated the market until 1904.

For some time, Mr. Landis resided in Hardwick. For years he engaged in the cattle business, and he is State Brand Inspector for Kings County and part of Tulare and Fresno counties.

Mr. Landis has three children: Edward Lee, Frances, wife of Noel Pettle [Noel Tuttle], and Catherine, the wife of Leo Wyke.


"History of Contra Costa County, California, including its geography, geology, topography, climatography and description," San Francisco, W. A. Slocum & Co., Publishers 1882: pages 554-555

MARK ELLIOTT -- The subject of this sketch is the son of John and Elizabeth (Berry) Elliott, and was born in Belmont County, Ohio, April 30, 1826. At a tender age he was taken by his parents to Guernsey county, in the same State. At eight he went with them to Delaware County, where he attended the common schools. At the age of eighteen he started to learn the trade of cabinet-maker, which he continued until twenty-one years old. Next he proceeded to Wyandotte for one Summer, whence he moved to Sandusky, and there resided a year. In the fall of 1849, Mr. Elliott returned to Delaware county, and in the following Spring, (1850), in company with five associates, among them being Drs. Smith and Hubbell, he started with horse-teams to tempt fortune in the Land of Gold. Crossing overland to Cincinnati, they thence proceeded by boat to St. Louis, whence they found their way to Kansas city, where they once more found themselves on terra firma. The regular journey across the plains was now commeced, with all its concomitant inconveniences, but after an extraordinarily rapid transit the party finally arrived at Weaverville on July 26, 1850. The first occupation entered into by our subject was making rockers for use in the mines. At this he remained until the fall, when he transferred his locale to the mines at Diamond Springs, and there resided until the month of February 1851. At this juncture he moved to Benicia, Solano county, where he plied his avocation of carpenter until the Great Fire of May 4, 1851, in San Francisco, where he proceeded thither and embarked in the then fruitful labors of a cabinetmaker. Remaining in that city until January, 1852, our subject then came to Contra Costa county, and after sojourning for a short time in Martinez, he took up his residence on Alamo creek, now known as Sycamore district, where he has since continuously resided, reclaiming, as the years go by, the wild, unbroken country, and causing it to blossom into a fair scene of prolific fields and luxurious pasturage. In 1852, when Mr. Elliott took possession of his property on the Alamo, he had but one hundred and sixty acres of land; to-day he has seven hundred and seventeen acres, almost all of it being under cultivation. In 1858, he built his present comfortable home, while, as if to add greater value to his possessions, at the time of writing, men were engaged on his property penetrating the earth, where a vein of excellent coal has been struck, which at no distant date may prove a bonanza to Mr. Elliott, and an immense boon to the section of the country in which he resides. He married in Oakland, May 15, 1864, Martha E. Dempster, a native of New York, and has two children: Lizzie E. and Mark H.


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