History of Northern California



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J. H. Paget


…proprietor of a boiler and machine works and blacksmith shop at Livermore, was born at Keokuk, Iowa, October 1, 1852, and in 1854 came with his parents to San Francisco, where he learned the machinist’s trade in the Stoddard Iron Works.  Desiring to travel around and see the world, he went in 1874 to the Black Hills of Southwestern Dakota, being among the first prospectors to enter that country.  He spent two years there, with but little fortune, however.  He became then a courier in the military service of the United States Government, and was in the immediate vicinity of General Custer’s massacre in June, 1876; thence he went to Brainerd, Minnesota, thence to Leadville, Colorado, and in 1880 he returned to California and settled at Oakland, where he followed his trade as a journeyman for about three years.  In 1884 he went to Livermore and worked in the shops of N. B. Holmes until 1889, when he bought him out and has since operated the works in all departments of blacksmithing, boiler and machine repairing and mill work.


He was married in Oakland, August 10, 1881, to Miss Mary E. Thompson, of Berkeley, who died September 5, 1889, leaving two children:  Gracie E. and Howard.  Mr. Paget is a member of Live Oak Lodge, No. 17, K. of P., at Oakland, and he takes also a prominent part in local politics and in the general welfare of the community where he resides. (Page 319)



J. Roseberry


The Roseberry farm, at the head of Chiles’ Valley, is one of the finest places in Napa County.  It comprises 1,200 acres, including the whole of the valley and the mountain land on either side.  It is carried on at present as a general farm, with stock and sheep raising, etc., but Mr. Roseberry is setting out trees and will soon have a fine orchard.  He intends shortly to put up good improvements in the way of a stone barn, dwelling-house, etc., the plans of which are very artistic.


Mr. Roseberry is a native of Western Pennsylvania, near Pittsburg, born in 1836.  He is the son of Hon. Thomas H. and Mary (Hill) Roseberry, the father being still a hale and hearty old man in Kansas.  He was born in 1806, and in early days removed with his family to Clark County, Missouri, of which he was elected County Judge for twenty-seven years, although he served only twenty-one, being legislated out.  His people were of the substantial old Dutch stock of Pennsylvania, probably of Jewish descent.  His mother, Mary Hill, was the daughter of Colonel Reese Hill, a hero of the war of 1812, who traced his ancestry back to old Governor Reese, of Virginia, her great-grandfather.  Colonel Reese Hill was afterward elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature, of which he was Speaker.  Mr. J. Roseberry came to California in 1862; B. Hughes Roseberry came in 1854 and now of Yolo County.  He started a store in Yolo County, remaining there until 1867, but his health failing him he went to San Francisco, and, as he had been brought up to the business of flour-milling when a boy, started the Yolo Mills, on the corner, originally of Beale and Market streets, but moving it in 1879 to the corner of Main and Mission streets, where it still stands, and a successful and paying  business is conducted under the firm name of Roseberry & Co.  In 1881 he sold out to Hinz & Plagemann, who still operate it, and began the grain business in the city, operating on the exchange until 1885, when he purchased his present place, and began its improvement.  Mr. Roseberry is a man of great originality and enterprise, large-hearted, plucky and energetic.  He was formerly extensively interested in Oakland, having built in that city many fine houses.  He built and owned for a time the fine building now used as a home for foundlings in Welt Oakland.


Mr. Roseberry was married January 1, 1871, to Miss E. J. Adamson, in Sonoma County, a brother of whom, Professor W. H. Adamson, lives at Lower Lake, California, and is conducting the Clear Lake Press, one of the most influential newspapers in Lake County.  Mrs. Roseberry was born in Iowa, but came to California when a child, in 1854.  Her father, Jacob Adamson, was of Scotch descent, and born in Tennessee; but his father was from Virginia, and the name will be recognized among the roll of Revolutionary heroes.  Mr. And Mrs. Roseberry have five children:  Mary Eva, the oldest, is attending school at Oakland; the others are all boys and are at home.  Their names are James William, Fred Thomas, Lewis Heaton and Martin Grover.


Hon. Thomas H. Roseberry, a brother of J. Roseberry, lives in Modoc County, and formerly carried on a store at Adin; he represented Modoc and Lassen counties in the Legislature of 1884.  Reese Heaton Roseberry, of Linn County, Kansas, is a brother, and he also represented his county in 1884.



Charles A. Brown


…real estate, insurance and collection agent at Woodland, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, December 29, 1839.  His father, H. C. F. Brown, was born near Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, and moved when he was a small child to Ohio before it was a State; and when a young man he went to Lexington, Kentucky, where he married Hannah Stainton, a native of that State.  He was a contractor and millwright by trade, and died in Kentucky in 18--.  His wife is still living in Bloomington, Illinois, at the advanced age of seventy-eight years.  In their family were six sons and four daughters, of whom three sons are the only ones now living.


The subject of this sketch, the only member of the family in this State, was raised in Lexington, and in 1855 he came to California, by way of Atchinson and Salt Lake, packing through the Sierra Nevadas, and arrived in Sacramento August 2.  After a residence of six or seven years at Grass Valley he came to this county.  He followed mining there and also in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties.  Most of the time since 1862 his home has been in Woodland.  In 1864, in the spring, he went to St. Helena, Napa County, and remained there about six months; and was in Nevada during the mining excitement at Washoe, a year, engaged in mining and other kinds of business.  Most of the time in that State he was at Lake’s Bridge, where Reno now stands.  For the past twelve or fifteen years he has been engaged as already noted, being one of the most active citizens of the place, thorough-going and reliable.  Having been thrown upon his own resources ever since he was sixteen years old, and constantly mingling with strangers, he has obtained a practical education in the ways of the world.


Politically, Mr. Brown is a Democrat, and has been influential in the various campaigns.


He was married in 1862 to Fannie M. Ingram, a native of Virginia, and by that marriage there were three children, of whom two daughters are now living.  The parents were separated by a divorce, and Mr. Brown, for his present wife, married Clara Leman, a native of St. Louis, Missouri; she was born February 12, 1851.  They have four children living and two deceased.



George H. Jackson, M. D.


Among the foremost of Woodland’s representative men of today stands the gentleman whose name heads this article.  A few facts in regard to his career and genealogy will therefore be of value and interest in this volume.  His ancestors, on both sides, originally came to this country from England.  His great-great-grandfather, on his father’s side, was early in life bound to a worsted-manufacturer in England.  At that time they combed the wool, tied it to a rack and drew it out just as the women of this country were afterward accustomed to convert flax into linen with which to make their wearing apparel.  As this worthy sire grew to manhood, being possessed of uncommon physical strength, he wanted to change his trade to that of a house joiner, but being unable to get free papers from his master he ran away, and gave an indenture upon himself to a ship captain for four years as a compensation for his passage.  His indenture was afterward bought by a man named Hughes and taken to Virginia.  He left seven brothers in England, but never knew of any of them coming to this country.  The wife of this gentleman was the daughter of Captain Jarvis, of England, a captain in the King’s Life Guards.  Prior to this she had married the captain of an English vessel contrary to her father’s wishes, and consequently went with her husband to sea.  The ship was lost in a storm, and she with six or seven others floated on the wreck for six or seven days, when the survivors were rescued by a convoy from a French fleet, and she with the others was sold for salvage.  The same man bought her service who had previously bought the indenture of Mr. Jackson, and while acting as servants on this man’s estate in Virginia they were married.


This constitutes the start of the Jackson family in America, or at least that branch with which our subject is connected.  The younger son of these two was Jarvis Jackson, so called after his mother’s maiden name.  He married a lady who was the daughter of General Lee, and a sister of “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, of Revolutionary fame, father of General Robert E. Lee, C. S. A.  The grandmother of Dr. Jackson was a daughter of Stephen Hancock, who came to Kentucky with
Boone, and settled at Boonesborough, in the fall of 1775.  She was then six years old and lived first at Martin’s Station, about three or four miles from Boonesborough, and later at Hoy’s Station, three or four miles further in the country.  Afterward the settlers at Boonesborough were granted a pre-emption upon a settlement of 1,400 acres of land by the Legislature of Virginia, and Stephen Hancock and Christopher Erwin located land adjoining on the tract in Madison County near where the city of Richmond now stands, and built a fort on the Erwin side of the line, and called it Erwin’s Station.  Stephen Hancock began clearing his land, but had his residence inside the fort until he considered it was safe for him to change it to the outside.


He was a son of George Hancock, who is believed to be a brother of John Hancock, the signer of the Declaration of Independence of the United States.  The father of Dr. Jackson was John Lee Jackson, a native of the State of Virginia, as also was the latter’s wife, whose maiden name was Mary E. Scales.  The heads of these two families emigrated to Kentucky, where John Lee Jackson and his wife were married.  He accumulated considerable wealth in that State, but being a man who took a deep interest in the welfare of others he fell a victim to his own generous impulses.  Having indorsed to a large amount the papers of several individuals who failed financially, he became seriously embarrassed, and from his entire property only succeeded in saving a section of land in Clark County, Missouri.  In his straitened circumstances he decided to remove his family from the scene of his late misfortune to his land in Missouri, and did so in 1850.  In the following spring he lost his wife by death, and in 1854 he himself passed to his long rest.


The death of the parents left the children to look out for their own welfare, and George H. Jackson, the subject of this sketch, who was the eighth child, and is the youngest living member of the family, went to Kirksville, Missouri, where he had an uncle living.  The relatives were engaged in merchandising there, and with him our subject made his home, assisting in the store, and spending any time he had in study and in improving his mind for the life struggle he knew was before him.  In this way, while his school facilities were of a meager order, he laid the foundation for a good practical education.  In 1861 his brother-in-law, Dr. B. B. Allen, repaired to remove to California, and our subject joined in the idea.  They made the journey by the overland route, and reached California in August.  They proceeded to Pine Grove, Sierra County, then known as Howland Flat, where lived an elder brother of young Jackson, who had come here some time previously.  Here Dr. Allen entered upon the practice of medicine, and our subject entered a store as clerk.  He decided to become a physician, and after he had put in the long hours required of him in the store he would study medicine with Dr. Allen.  Work and study absorbed nearly all the time not given to sleep, so that sometimes he became disheartened and felt tempted to abandon his task.  In such moments his sister, who sympathized with him in his struggle, encouraged him, and by her hopeful words stimulated him to even greater efforts, and to her the Doctor now gives much of the credit for his ultimate success.  For two years he kept up the role of clerk and student at this place; then Dr. Allen removed to Freeport, Sacramento County, where he opened up a small drug store in connection with his medical practice, our subject accompanying him as clerk.  He also continued his studies and by 1866 he had saved enough money to pay his expenses during one course of lectures at a medical college.  With this in hand, and relying upon assistance from Dr. Allen during the second course, he went to San Francisco and attended the first course of study and lectures at the Toland Medical College, during four months in the spring of 1866.  When the time for his second term approached his brother-in-law, who had found but a limited field for practice at his new location, was unable to assist him.  In this dilemma he was undecided for a time in which direction to turn his steps.  But his determination to enter the profession at length prevailed, and as practice by non-graduation was then allowed in this State, he decided at once to enter the field as a practitioner.  He felt justified in this course from the fact that his long experience and study with Dr. Allen, his clerkship in the drug store and attendance at lectures had better fitted him for actual practice than are many graduates, especially those whose hearts are not in their work.  Going to Georgetown, Sacramento County, he opened his office as a physician and met with gratifying success, both professionally and financially.


While there he married to Miss Lizzie E. Julian, then living near Freeport, but now a resident of Oakland.  Shortly after his marriage, having made $500 in addition to all expenses, Dr. Jackson removed to Gold River, Placer County, where success again attended him, and at the end of two years he had a practice worth about $800 per month.  Here he made the acquaintance of a then well-known citizen of Yolo County, Mr. Moore, who urged him to remove to Woodland, assuring him that there was a demand there for a physician of his ability.  Following his friend’s advice, Dr. Jackson came to Woodland, and here success attended him much beyond his expectations.  In 1870, in order to avail himself of college and clinical study, which he was then so fully competent to appreciate and utilize, he went to San Francisco for that purpose, and was duly graduated at the Medical Department, University of the Pacific.


His advancement in his profession has been steady and rapid, and he now holds a prominent place in medical circles on this coast.  His excellent qualities as a physician and as a man are held in high appreciation by his fellow-citizens, who have on more than one occasion displayed their confidence in him.  He has been physician to the County Hospitals for periods aggregating five years, and has served on the Board of Trustees of Woodland for ten years.  He is a zealous Democrat in his political views, and takes a lively interest in the welfare of the party, and an active part in its councils.


Dr. Jackson’s career, as viewed from an historical standpoint, is certainly an instructive one.  A brief retrospect of the pages of this sketch will show that he started in life for himself at an unusually early age, almost without opportunities except those he made for himself.  Against all obstacles, however, he ascended the ladder of success, round by round, and fought his way to the front until he has become recognized as one of the foremost figures in the community with which he has cast in his lot, with a reputation as a professional and business man extending much beyond its limits.  His advancement in his profession has been gained by his earnest, conscientious efforts, and the exercise of all the abilities with which nature endowed him.  Yet a young man comparatively, he has succeeded so well that the question of giving up or remaining in practice has already become a matter of choice.  He is just opening up a business career of such promise that he is already rated as one of the shrewdest and safest financiers of the community, and capitalists are satisfied to invest when Dr. Jackson leads.  His judgment must therefore be entitled to much respect in regard to Woodland, which he considered a safe and promising field for investment.  His confidence in the future may be gauged by what he has done and is doing toward her improvements.  The Curtis residence and grounds, recognized as among the most beautiful in Woodland, re the result of his enterprise, and his own present office and residence block on Main street was also built by him.  He has put his money unflinchingly into business property here, and the future will prove that he has other and yet more important improvements in view.  He has also made investments in real estate in other and promising localities, notably adjoining the town of Willows.


Dr. and Mrs. Jackson are the parents of four children, viz.:  Mary Louise, Georgia, Alice and Julian Allen. (Pages 321-323)



Basil Campbell


…was born in Cooper County, Missouri, March 9, 1823, a slave to James G. Campbell, whose widow, Mrs. Ellen, is living with her son-in-law, Jefferson Maxwell, in this county.  When thirteen years old, in September, 1836, he was sold to Joseph Stephens for $700.  In 1837, Mr. Stephens died, and for some four or five succeeding years the slave-boy was put yearly up at auction, and his services for one year sold to the highest bidder.  One of those years, he was put upon the scales and found to weigh 151 pounds, and taking his place upon the auction-stand, was bid off at $151 per year by Thomas Adams, a brother of D. W. Adams, of this county.  A son of the purchaser, T. H. Adams, is this year working in Yolo County one thousand acres of land, that he hires from the boy whose services as a slave his father purchased at one dollar per pound.  In about 1842, the estate of Mr. Stephens was divided among the heirs, and Basil had to be sold again, as he could not well be divided, and Mrs. Catherine Stephens, the widow of the deceased, purchased him for $450 (a depreciation in the market).  In October, 1853, he was again sold to J. D. Stephens, now a banker in Woodland, for $1,200 (stock going up), and the following year, Mr. Stephens came to California and settled on the south side of Cache Creek, bringing with him his twelve hundred dollar purchase.  Before leaving, an agreement had been entered into between the parties, to the effect that Basil was to work in California ten years for Stephens, and have his liberty at the end of that time; one hundred dollars per year, to be paid annually, was to be given to Basil during that time, and if, during the ten years, he had money enough to buy his freedom in a less time, Mr. Stephens was to name a reasonable price.  In 1861 he paid $700 for the remaining three years of his time, and then was free.  During those seven years, Basil had been investing his money in stock, and was worth in 1861 probably $10,000.  In 1865, he commenced acquiring real estate, and in 1879, had 2,960 acres, worth about twenty dollars per acre on an average, and between five and ten thousand dollars’ worth of live stock.  In 1865 he was elected as a delegate to attend the State convention of colored people that met at Sacramento, being chosen as one of the vice-presidents.  In 1873, he was again elected to the State Colored Convention, and was chosen by that body as a State delegate to attend the National Colored Convention at Washington, District of Columbia.  He was married to Rebecca Dalton, at Sacramento city, August 5, 1866, and has an adopted child—Leonora.  Mr. Campbell is living upon the proceeds of his accumulated wealth.  He informed us that he considered himself fortunate in his masters in those days of servitude; that he was always kindly treated; and that in J. D. Stephens he found a friend rather than a master, who gave him a chance in the world that few of his race had been favored with. 


In conclusion, we would like to ask you, reader, how many white men of your acquaintance, think you, could be mentioned that would have fulfilled the contract of working ten years for freedom, when the law gave it without a cent as soon as the soil of California was reached, as did this man who had been born a slave.

(Pages 323-324)



Baron A. Von Schilling


This gentleman is the manager of the celebrated Edgehill vineyard, near St. Helena, one of the finest large vineyards set out in this part of the valley, and long famous for the fine quality of the wines manufactured.  It was originally set out by a General Health many years ago, and has associated with its history many well-known names.  The estate comprises 1,500 acres, running from the valley to the summit of the mountains, possesses a great abundance of water, a desideratum in the Napa Valley, and is splendidly improved.  The residence is one of the finest in the vicinity, has fine grounds and commands an expanded view.  The wine cellars, etc., are solidly constructed and conveniently arranged.  The vineyard proper comprises 160 acres, planted with the choice varieties of grapes.  Messrs. George W. Phillips, capitalist, E. Dichman, banker and lawyer, both of New York city, are the chief owners of the Edgehill vineyard, and direct its general affairs.  As a matter of friendship for them, Baron Von Schilling has taken charge of the Edgehill.  The Baron is also the general manager in California for the American Concentrated Must Company, which erected the successful Must Condensing establishment (Springmuhl patent) at Geyserville, Sonoma County, now in successful operation.


Baron August von Schilling Canstatt is a member of one of the oldest and most famous German families, the genealogical or historical tree of which goes back to 1019, A. D., and includes statesmen, warriors and leading men in almost every department of life, and has its home at Canstatt, Wurtemberg.  A cousin of the Baron, the Baron Paul von Schilling Canstatt, now dead, was a member of the Russian Imperial ministry and the inventor of the electro-magnetic telegraph in 1835.  By imperial decree the first telegraphic cable was laid between Peterhof and Canstatt in the Finnish bay, in May, 1837.


Baron August was born January 12, 1840, at Carlsruhe, in Baden, and is the youngest of his family, his oldest brother still residing on the family estate.  Baron August was educated as a civil engineer and architect, although on the old home place also learning thoroughly the business of a farmer.  For fifteen years he was engaged in the building of railroads in Germany, until in 1881 he came to America, and was sent with a Mr. Windsor to travel over the country and inspect the line of the Northern Pacific for Mr. Villard, going in this way on horseback across Minnesota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, visiting the Yellowstone Park and the Sioux and Crow Indians.  After this journey he remained in Portland until Villard resigned the presidency of the road, in 1884.  The Baron then came to San Francisco, went thence to Blue Lake, Lake County, where he had an interest in the Blue Lake summer resort, and thence to Geyserville, to take charge of the condensed must plant, which is succeeding so well.


He is an unmarried man, a gentleman in the fullest sense of the word, whom it is a pleasure to meet. (Pages 324-325)



Solomon Gable Family


The father of these gentlemen, Solomon Gable, was born May 21, 1796, the seventh son of a seventh son.  In the family there were probably nine children, eight sons and one daughter.  Frederick, one of these sons and probably the only one who became wealthy, was a banker of Little York, Pennsylvania; but after his death the executors appropriated all the property, so that the heirs obtained none.  Although married, he died childless.  Solomon Gable married Elizabeth Dull, also a Pennsylvanian, and after six children were born in his family he moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio, where eight of his children were born.  He had altogether nine sons and five daughters.  The youngest girl of the family died at the age of three years, and there are now living five sons and one daughter.  Eleven of the family grew up to years of maturity.  Three brothers are in California, one of whom, Aaron Sylvester Gable, is a resident at Soledad, Monterey County, and two—A. W. and H. C. –are the subjects of this sketch.  The eldest son, Andrew Gable, was a commissioned officer in the Mexican war, being promoted to that position for great merit and bravery; and he received the title to a large tract of land in Texas, where he made his home, and while a resident there he made two visits to his parents.  He died there, willing his property to some friends who took care of him during his sickness.  In 1843 Mr. Solomon Gable moved to Van Buren County, in the southeastern part of Iowa, settling upon a rented farm, and afterward, in the spring of 1846 he removed into Appanoose County, n ear by, where he took Government land and followed farming and stock-raising for the remainder of his life, being prosperous in both vocations. He died in June, 1846, from the breaking of a blood-vessel caused by lifting some logs, in the prime of life.


Mr. A. W. Gable is a director of the Bank of Yolo, which was incorporated in January, 1883, with between sixty and seventy stockholders.  At the time of the organization no one was allowed to hold more than $10,000 stock; and it is a stipulation that no additional purchases can be made except by permission of the board of trustees.  At present no stockholder holds more than $13,000, and only one holds that amount.  There are only three stockholders outside of the county, and the total amount of their holding is but $12,000.  Paid up capital is $300,000.  On the first of next January it will have a reserve fund of $66,000, which has been accumulated during the six years of its organization, besides the regular dividends,--which have been never less than eight percent per annum, and for the last two years it has been nine percent per annum.  The first assistant cashier, Ed. G. Gregg, died at Riverside, San Bernardino County, in 1888; and Charles L. Richmond succeeded him in the position; this is the only change in the official board since organizati9on except as noted below.  The directors are Hon. D. N. Hershey, Hon. Charles F. Reed, H. P. Merritt, W. W. Brownell, Hon S. N. Mering, E. R. Lowe, A. W. Gable, Benj. Peart and A. D. Porter.  The present officers are H. P. Merritt, President; W. W. Brownell, Vice-president; C. W. Bush, Manager and Cashier; and Charles L. Richmond, Assistant Cashier.  Mr. J. W. Freeman, an original director, disposed of his interests in the bank, soon after its organization, and Mr. A. W. Gable was elected his successor. (Pages 325-326)



George Brammar


…a prominent blacksmith of Livermore, was born in Sharon, Canada, October 1, 1845, and learned in his native place the trade of blacksmith and wheelwright.  Was educated in Queensville, Ontario, Canada, and in 1875 he came to California and the first year stopped in Stockton.  Thence he went to Linden, twelve miles east of Stockton, for a short time, and finally, in 1876, he came to Livermore, where he is now carrying on general repair shop for agricultural implements, and is enjoying a lucrative trade.  He was married in Canada, in May, 1875, to Catharine Robinson, and their two children are George A. and Ethel C. Brammar. (Page 326)



L. H. Trainor


This gentleman is a member of the leading firm of Mackinder & Trainor, real estate and insurance agents of St. Helena and Napa City.  The office in the latter city was established in the spring of 1890, when Mr. Trainor took up his residence there, the business being originally established in St. Helena, where Mr. Trainor lived for many years.  In Messrs. Trainor and Mackinder is found two splendid business men, the former seeming especially adapted to the outside “rustling,” and the latter to the office duties.  Between them they make as bright and lively a firm as possible to have, each of them being a favorite with every one and commanding the entire confidence of the community.  Mr. Trainor is an excellent example of that best type of the American citizen, the self-made man, having received nothing from his parents but a level head and a strong frame coupled with an unlimited capacity for work.  Consequently he deserves all that he has got.


Mr. Trainor was born near Galena, Illinois, in July, 1852, his father being Oliver I. Trainor, a farmer of that section until 1859, when he came to California, and shortly after died, leaving his family in narrow circumstances.  At the outbreak of the war the elder sons went to the front, and would have been followed there by L. H., had he been old enough to go.  In 1862, when about ten years of age, he came to this coast, and for several years was employed about farms in the vicinity of Sacramento.  In 1870 he went to Oregon, and was engaged in the cattle business.  He was a pioneer of the Umatilla section in that State, helping build the now prosperous city of Heppner.  In 1879 he returned to California and engaged extensively in the cattle business at Reno, Nevada.  Owing to an open season, however, he lost all, and was forced to make another start.  This he did by entering the employment of the Central Pacific Railroad.  Thus he continued for three years.  In 1882 he came to Napa County, purchased a vineyard above St. Helena and engaged in grape-growing.  Later on he sold this and bought again, finally buying his present beautiful place below town, in 1885, and erecting his comfortable home upon it.  He has thirty acres, all planted to grapes except the site for the house and grounds.  At the same time Mr. Trainor traveled on the road, selling wine, until in 1888, when  he entered into partnership with Mr. Mackinder.  He was married in Colfax, Placer County, to Miss Ida M. Graham.  They have two sons, one twelve and the other seven years of age.  Mr. Trainor is a Mason in high standing, being also a Knight Templar. (Pages 326-327)



J. I. McConnell


…of Woodland.  The father of the subject of this sketch, George M. McConnell, was born December 24, 1817, in McMinn County, East Tennessee, and in 1850 came with his family, consisting of wife and two sons, to California, by way of Salt Lake, arriving at the mines at Coloma in September.  After working in the mines for two years, he came down to Sacramento city with the intention of returning East by water; but, as the floods were high and no steamers going, he was persuaded by friends to go into Yolo County and pre-empt a claim about a mile east of the city of Woodland.  He followed farming there until 1858; then he moved to Sonoma County, where he remained until 1868, and finally settled in Hollister, San Benito County, where he still resides.  His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Jane Adams, was a native of Tennessee, and died at Hollister in 1871, at the age of fifty-three years.  They were the parents of three children, all of whom are now living, viz.: William e., who resides in Santa Rosa; James I., the subject of this sketch, and George W., who was born in Yolo County, and resides at Hollister.


James I. was born in Tennessee, December 18, 1845, and was therefore five years old when he was brought to this State.  He was educated at different places, but mostly at Sonoma, at a Presbyterian school, as his father was a Cumberland Presbyterian.  From 1868 to 1871 he taught school in San Joaquin County; then two years in the department of mathematics in Hesperian College at Woodland; nest 1880-’85, he was Principal of the public school of Woodland, and then, 1885-’87, he had editorial charge of the Daily Democrat; and finally, in 1888, he was appointed Postmaster of Woodland.  He is president of the Woodland Building and Loan Association, which was organized about four years ago; and while he was a teacher he was also a member of the Educational Board of this county for six years.  In all his public positions he has given satisfaction, being social, pleasant-mannered and accommodating.  He is a member of the orders of the United Workmen and Knights of Pythias, and has filled all the offices in the lodges of both societies in Woodland.


Mr. McConnell was married in 1871 to Miss Lillian Swain, a native of Marshall, Michigan, and they have one daughter, named Gertrude L.


A Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California: Chicago : The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891

Transcribed by Janice Giachino, February, 2007  Pages 319-327


Site Created: 01 February 2007

Martha A Crosley Graham

Rights Reserved: 2007