History of Northern California




Lorenz Heinz


…a farmer northwest of Davisville, in Yolo County, was born January 9, 1828, in the Kingdom of Wirtemberg, Germany, a son of Franz and Margaret Heinz, natives of Germany.  He was brought up on a farm in the old country; his father being a blacksmith he learned the same trade, and at the age of twenty, being the only son and his father over sixty years old, he was exempt from further army service.  In 1849 he sailed from France to America on the vessel Havre, and was thirty-six days on the voyage.  Landing at New York he remained there for a short time and went to Philadelphia, and engaged at farm work near by in Chester County, in the employ of a man named Robert Brown, for one year at $87.  He then was employed at his trade, blacksmithing and boiler-making, in Philadelphia until the fall of 1852, when he sailed from New York on the steamer Uncle Sam for California, by way of the isthmus, on the Pacific side taking the steamer Cortez, and landing insane Francisco January 6, 1853.  In that strange city he endeavored to find employment for a month, but in vain, and as he was without means h became sadly discouraged.  Board was $13 a week, even for the plainest kind.  At length he obtained a position in a manufactory of iron doors and shutters, at $5 a day; but in a month he concluded to go with some friends to Australia and gave up his situation; but the trip was given up and his occupation gone.  He went to Sacramento and then started to the mines near Colusa on a steamer, which broke a shaft on the way, and while if it was lying to for repairs Mr. Heinz met some miners returning who gave discouraging accounts.  He returned again to Sacramento, heart-sick and discouraged.  He went to the mines again, only to meet further discouragement, and even opposition.  After hunting around for some time for employment, he was engaged by Wallace Barnes, at $50 a month, and he worked for him six months, but never received a cent of money for it!  Next he engaged in a manufactory of iron doors and shutters at Sacramento; next in a vegetable garden for Mr. Muldrow until spring, when he again went to Sacramento and engaged in the manufacture of iron doors and shutters for Radcliff & Company.  Thus he was employed until the fall of 1854, by which time he had accumulated about $400.  Placing this in a  bank, he struck out for the mines at Iowa Hill, where he worked for a while, only for poor returns.  In the spring of 1855 he went again to Sacramento, only to find that the bank had failed and all his hard-earned money gone!  This almost uninterrupted series of disasters were enough to drive any common man insane, but Mr. Heinz still held up his head, and hired himself to a Yolo County man named Alexander Manor for the summer.  He worked for various parties until the fall of 1860, when he with a band of sheep, located where he now lives, upon a half section of land, which he obtained of a squatter, at a cost of $800; and three years later he bought it a second time with school warrants of the State of California.  He has, however, continued courageously on until long since he has made a fine home.  His farm is one of the best kept in that section of the county, and comprises 337 acres.  What an example we have, in the sketch of such a noble citizen, of patience and perseverance!


Mr. Heinz was married December, 1862, to Miss Caroline Weiner, and they had two sons—Charley and Theodore.  Mr. Heinz was married again in the fall of 1871, to Miss Lucia Kuehnel, a native of Germany, and they have three children, namely, Julia, August J. and Lucia. (Pages 327-328)



Milo Bushnell Pond, M. D.


…has been a resident of California since 1853, and of Napa for the past twenty-three years, during which latter time he has been constantly engaged in the practice of the medical profession.  His parents were A. R. and f. M. (Bushnell) Pond, natives of Vermont, and descended from the original Puritan stock.  They had settled in Dearborn County, Indiana, where the subject of this sketch was born in 1836, but afterward went to Illinois, and later still to the county-seat of Grant County, Wisconsin, where the father engaged in farming in that frontier settlement, then in the very vanguard of civilization, the son bearing his share of its labors, and attending the public schools of the town.  At one of the occasional school exhibitions, the teacher introduced a spelling bee on a small scale as one of the attractions, where young Pond spelled down the school.  Among those present were Allen Barber, District Attorney for the county, and Judge Nelson Dewey; and when volunteers were called for to defeat the champion, they accepted the challenge.  Elevating the boy, then only six years old, upon a barrel, the contests were renewed.  Each one who failed to spell his word correctly being forced to take his seat, young Master Pond was again the only one left standing!  Frightened by the cheers that arose, he fell off the barrel, and was a last “knocked out” by the applause that followed his victory! 


In 1849, during the excitement following the gold discovery, his father crossed the plains to California, meeting with the varied experiences common to those who piloted the prairie schooners of that day over the almost trackless desert.  Following the usual variety of employments, he first engaged in mining, then ran a freight boat on the Sacramento River, then back to the mines, and finally settled in Vaca Valley, Solano County, on a farm.  Meanwhile the family, in 1853, fitted themselves out with ox teams,--one driven by the subject of this sketch and the other by his eldest brother, Jared James,--and started to cross the plains to join the father in his California home.  Arriving safely, and bringing through with them the same teams with which they left the States, in spite of the hardships of the journey and the attempts of the Indians to run off their stock, the happily united family settled down upon the farm in Solano County.


Here he invested in two scholarships of the Ulatis Academy, organized and managed by James W. Anderson, the present superintendent of schools in San Francisco, where he received the balance of his English education, alternately attending school and assisting his father upon the farm, mastering Davies’ elementary algebra while resting his team at the plow.  Leaving the academy he taught school at Fairfield for one year, at the same time holding an appointment as one of the County Board of Education, which position he retained for three years.  While teaching, he began the study of medicine in the office of Dr. Stillman Holmes, then and for some years afterward practicing at Vacaville.  Beginning with 1862, he attended two courses of medical lectures in the University of the Pacific, at San Francisco, after the first course being appointed apothecary at the city and county hospital, retaining this position until1865, and continuing as assistant physician in the same institution for a year after his graduation.  The medical department of the university having temporarily suspended operations, and the Toland Medical School, now the medical department of the University of California, opening in 1864, Dr. Pond attended his third course of lectures there, passing his examination in March, 1865, and receiving his diploma as a physician and surgeon.  In 1870, the University of the Pacific, having re-organized its medical department, and being about to hold its first commencement, invited Dr. Pond to an examination and participation in the exercises as one of their students, where, after passing the usual examinations, he was awarded an ad-eundum degree from this institution.


In 1866 he removed to Napa, where he has since devoted himself to his extensive practice as a physician.  To Dr. Pond is really die the invention of the split tracheotomy tube, which enables the operator to explore the trachea for the purpose of cleansing the throat in cases of membranous croup, or removing the membrane or foreign bodies that may accidentally lodge in that passage.  The occasion of this invention was its necessity in the case of a child two years old under the Doctor’s care, who had drawn a watermelon seed into its windpipe.  By means of this instrument the operator can dilate the opening so as to look down into the windpipe or upwards into the larynx, can use a sponge to cleanse, or a forceps to withdraw any foreign body, and all under the direction of the eye.  Dr. Pond presented this invention to the medical society in 1873, with a description of the operation, which was published in the transactions of that body, illustrated with an engraving.  At the same time he presented an instrument he had designed for the introduction of sutures in operations in case of cleft palate and vesico-vaginal fistula.  This was a double-curved needle, with an eye in the point, by means of which sutures were introduced with much greater facility in these difficult operations than with those needles in common use by the profession.  A cut and description of this needle was also published in the same volume of the transactions of the society.


Some years ago the State Legislature passed an act authorizing the Governor to appoint a commission for the purpose of selecting a site for a sanitarium for the treatment of consumption.  This commission examined every situation of promise in the State; three of them, Drs. Logan, Gibbon and Hatch (since deceased) visited Napa, and, with Dr. Pond investigating the different points in this county, finally confined their endorsement to two of them, Mount Veeder and Atlas Peak.  More favorably impressed with the latter from the probable dryness of its atmosphere on account of its great elevation, they still felt that this advantage might be offset by the presence of the fir timber on Mount Veeder.  Nothing has ever been done by the State toward establishing the sanitarium; but, feeling the necessity and the advantage to California of such an institution, and its great value to those needing a dry, equable and bracing atmosphere and healthful surroundings, Dr. Pond has since acquired 225 acres, comprising the choice part of this mountain tract, retaining the beautiful groves of firs, redwoods, madronas and other fine trees, and clearing off the open space for orchards, vineyards, gardens and buildings.  Here, besides the largest Japanese persimmon orchard in the northern part of the State, he has a fine growth of olives, prunes, apricots, peaches and vines, most of them being now in their first bearing, in all about thirty acres.  He will have this year about four tons of French prunes, 5,000 gallons of finest grades of wine, and other fruits in proportion.  When the natural beauties and advantages of this tract have been sufficiently developed and the conditions are favorable, Dr. Pond proposes to erect an institution on Monte Verda (Green Mountain) which shall be a credit and a blessing to the State.


This busy physician is a member of the United States, State and County Medical Societies, secretary respectively of the City and County Boards of Health, and corresponding member of the State Board of Health for Napa County.  He was largely instrumental in establishing the County Hospital, and was for many years County Physician, until at last he succeeded in turning over the responsibilities of that position to one of his own students.  He is a member of the Masonic order.  Dr. Pond was secretary of the first Union League Club organized in Suisun, Solano County, California, on the evening following the bombardment of Fort Sumter, and has been a progressive Republican ever since.


The Doctor was married in 1866, to Miss Josephine E. Everts, daughter of Dr. T. C. and Maria (Holland) Everts, who came to California from Indiana in 1856.  They have one son, Paul E. Pond, now an attendant of the Napa College. (Pages 328-330)



Detlef Lafrenz, Jr.


…a farmer near Livermore, was born in Lieth Holstein, Germany, June 28, 1857, and in 1874 came to America, landing at New York, and thence by rail to California.  He went first to San Francisco, to Spanish Town, San Mateo County, near which place he was employed upon a farm for seven years.  Since 1881 he has occupied his present place as a prosperous agriculturist.  He is a member of Vesper Lodge, No. 62, a. O. U. W., also of the A. L. of H., Council  No. 1,070, and is president of the Lodge of Sons of Hermann, all of Livermore.  He was married in San Francisco, May 22, 1883, to Miss Metha Biersterfeldt, and their four children are named Elsie, Emma, Minnie and Metha.  (Page 330)



John W. Buck


…an extensive rancher near Pleasanton, was born in Buckfield, Oxford County, Maine, December 24, 1858; completed his education at Boston, Massachusetts, in 1869-’71; came to San Francisco and there enlisted in the First United States Cavalry, as a private in the company commanded by Captain Moses Harris, and served satisfactorily for ten years, being honorably discharged in the presidio of San Francisco in 1882.  For the next two years he had charge of the farm of Mrs. Mary P. Woldram, in Sacramento County.  Next for four years he had charge of the hop farm of Dr. D. P. Durst, near Wheatland, Yuba County.  Then he was employed by the Omnibus Street Railway Company, of San Francisco, as a carpenter in their shops, he having learned the trade of carpentry in the army; and after one year in this relation he located near Pleasanton, where for the last two years he has been in charge of the Black estate of 1,100 acres, good farm land, all under cultivation.  He has two assistants as foremen.  Mr. Buck is not married; is a member of Pleasanton Lodge, No. 225, I. O. O. F. (Pages 330-331)



Donald Frazer


…of Woodland, has been a resident of California since 1850.  He was born near the town of Inverness, Scotland, and when he was about the age of thirteen years he came with relatives to the United States, locating in Livingston County, New York, on the Genesee River; there he was an employee upon a farm.  In the autumn of 1829, in connection with his brother, he located upon a farm near Elgin, Illinois; but the year afterward, in company with another brother, he began the carpenter’s trade in Elgin, and after he completed his knowledge of the business he worked two years in that calling in Chicago, and afterward about Elgin until he started for California.  This trip was made with eight other parties.  Crossing the Missouri River at a point called Old Fort Kearney, May 5, 1850, they followed the trail to New Fort Kearney, now simply known as Fort Kearney, Nebraska.  The road was alive with people and teams, on their way to the new El Dorado.  As part of the company desired to travel faster than the rest, a division took place, and Mr. Frazer, who had made new acquaintances among the immigrants, joined a new company, along with some of his old friends, who were agreed on the rate of travel, and they appointed a man named Overall, from St. Louis, captain.  As their cattle and stock had to be guarded during the night, the men were detailed by the captain for the various duties, day and night.  At one point they paid some Indians, on demand, some flour, sugar and tobacco, for the privilege of passing through their territory.  By the time they reached the Humboldt River they began to experience considerable hardships for the want of water free from alkali, and lack of provender for their horses.  To obtain grass they put two wagon-beds together, with wagon-covers underneath, and with these made their way to the islands in the river, where the desired forage was found.  They arrived at Placerville August 27, having good luck in getting all their animals through.


Mr. Frazer followed mining the first three years, suffering a great deal of exposure, and then for a year and a half he followed teaming from Sacramento, and next he came over into Yolo County and began farming on Willow Slough, where he and others took up a tract of land which was not then surveyed.  For years afterward he began running a threshing machine, in which he had a half interest.  Dry weather and short crops put a stop to this enterprise, and Mr. Frazer sold his farm with the intention of returning to the States; but before he got under way he changed his mind and entered the live stock business, in which he did well—by hard work and strict watch on a number of hard cases, however, until 1864; when he sold out the most of his stock.  The next year, with other parties, he took an interest in another large band of cattle, as in 1864, being a dry year or season, any were driven out of the country, and the consequent scarcity raised prices.  He continued in this trade until about 1878, when he sold out and moved into Woodland, where he has since led an easier life.  In November, 1885, the grocery house of A. D. Porter was purchased by the firm of Harling, Frazer & Co., which subsequently became Smith, Frazer & Co., which establishment is one of the oldest in the city and is unquestionably one of the leading mercantile houses.


In political matters Mr. Frazer has been a Republican ever since the party was organized, although not in any sense a politician.  When Woodland was first organized as a town he was elected a member of the Board of Trustees, and was re-elected for the second term.  He has been a member of the Masonic order for the past ten or twelve years.


Mr. Frazer was married in 1865, to Harriet C. McCreary, a native of the State of New York. (Pages 331-332)



D. Dunphey


…a blacksmith of Woodland, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1835, the son of A. Spencer and Eliza (Wing) Dunphey.  His father, a native of New York State and a millright by trade, died in Cook County, Illinois; and the mother, who was born in Canada in 1811, died in Illinois.  When Mr. Dunphey was but two years of age the family removed to Cook County, Illinois, and subsequently to Jo Daviess County, same State.  April 13, 1852, he came overland with ox teams to California, and for five years was employed at Sacramento in the trade of blacksmithing.  He then went to Cottonwood, now Madison, where he worked at his trade for seven years, and then he settled in Woodland, where for twelve years he has been conducting a prosperous business.  He worked for Mr. Knox three years and has now resumed business for himself in Woodland.  He is a man well known throughout the county and has many friends.  He has a neat little home on Third street.


June 2, 1860, in Cottonwood, Yolo County, Mr. Dunphey married Lydia Willard, the daughter of A. H. and Mary A. Willard.  Her father was born I 1812 in St. Louis, Missouri, and her mother in 1823 in Vandalia, Illinois; they had seven sons and seven daughters.  Mr. Dunphey has eight children, the following their names and ages:  Spencer, twenty-nine years; Charles, deceased at the age of fifteen years; Lydia, aged twenty-five, and now the wife of r. a. Patterson of San Diego County; Eliza, twenty one; Dexter, twenty-three; Lizzie, died at the age of eight years; Willard, sixteen; and Minerva, twelve. (Page 332)



Ernest Schween


…a prominent farmer near Pleasanton, Alameda County, was born in Holstein, Germany, May 13, 1831, and at the age of twenty-two, in 1854, he came to America by sail vessel from Hamburg.  Landing at San Francisco, he was employed on the farm in that vicinity for two months; then until 1865 in Eden Township, Alameda County; then in Washington Township, same county, for three years.  In 1868-’71 he was a farmer in Monterey County; in 1872 he located in Murray Township, near Pleasanton, and followed farming there about eleven years, when he purchased 650 acres of land where he now resides.  He has about twenty acres in vines, which yield annually forty to fifty tons of grapes.


He was married in Eden Township, May 25, 1861, to Miss Metta Luders, and the names of their eight children are:  Ernestine a., Charles H., William F., John H., Matilda M., August A., Walter J. and Louise C.  Mr. Schween is a member of Industry Lodge, No. 63, A. O. U. W., at Pleasanton. (Page 332)



Gilbert Nusbaumer


…a thrifty farmer near Pleasanton, Alameda County, is the son of Louis and Elizabeth Nusbaumer, and was born in San Francisco, March 15, 1854.  When but a child, in 1857, his parents moved to Pleasanton (then Alisal), whence at the end of a few years they moved upon a ranch near the same place, and there our subject spent most of his time until the age of eighteen, attending school and assisting at ranching.  Next he went to San Francisco to learn the machinists’ trade, at which he worked during the following twelve years, when he made several trips to Mexico, at one time taking down and setting up a lot of mining machinery near Topia, in the State of Sinoloa.  He remained there a year, during which time the troublesome days of Ramirez, the outlaw and revolutionist, occurred, when life and property was almost in danger.  On his return to California he engaged in farming, and is at present cultivating 240 acres; is also a part owner of 900 acres of farming land in the Vallecitos.  He is a young and rising Californian, who devotes his time principally to farming.

He was married to Miss Pauline Schweer, daughter of Frances and the late Frederick Schweer, who is also a native of California, being born at Mt. Eden, Alameda County. (Pages 332-333)

John C. Mohr

…superintending a farm of 325 acres of land near Pleasanton, was born at Mr. Eden, Alameda County, January 5, 1860, the son of the late Cornelius and Cecelia Mohr, who came to America from Holstein, Germany, in 1855.  He is a member of Eucalyptus Lodge, No. 243, F. & A. M., at Hayward.  (Page 333)

Oliver H. Buckman

…surveyor and civil engineer, has been for the past six years County Surveyor of Napa County, and since 1880 City Surveyor and Superintendent of Streets of the city of Napa.  He was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, in December, 1847.  His parents, Phineas and Cynthia (Roberts) Buckman, natives of Maryland, though of Pennsylvania Quaker extraction, removed to Iowa in 1845, where they continue to reside.  He received his education in the public schools of Atalissa, his father owning and occupying a farm near that town.  At the age of twenty-two he entered upon a course of civil engineering and surveying at the Iowa State University at Iowa City, graduating at that institution in 1876.  Remaining at home for about a year, he came to California, settling at Napa, where he at once entered upon the practice of his profession, and has continued here since that time.  Besides the ordinary duties of his profession as a surveyor, Mr. Buckman has been the engineer of the Napa City water works, of which George F. Allardt was the consulting engineer, and all the details of construction were carried out under his supervision.  He has also superintended all the work done on the sewerage system of Napa for the past ten years.  The racetrack of the Napa Agricultural Association, which was made famous by the lowering of the stallion trotting records, and later by the phenomenal performance of the great three-year-old Sunol, was laid out by him.  Experts who were present at the last races pronounced the Napa track equal to any in the United States and superior to most.  He was employed in laying out the Villa Verona colony tract near Oroville, and adjoining the Palmero orange tract.  He is now engaged in making a series of assessment maps for Napa County, showing each separate track of land in the county, and giving the name of the present owner.  This is the first series of such maps, and will greatly facilitate the work of the assessors.  Mr. Buckman furnished the plans for the sewerage system of Suisun City, which has been in successful operation for five years.  He has also laid out many of the mountain roads of the county, and has performed most of the important engineering work of that section for the past ten years. (Page 333)


The Livermore Herald

…is a distinctively local newspaper, established in 1877 by W. P. Bartlett, its present editor and proprietor.  It is the medium of the party of improvement in Livermore Valley, and has taken a very prominent part in the introduction of many new industries, such as vine and fruit growing, manufacturing, coal and chromo mining, which has added so materially to the growth and prosperity of the country.  Personalities and all matters (including advertising) of a questionable character are excluded from its columns. (Pages 333-334)


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

Transcribed by Janice Giachino, February, 2007  Pages 327-334


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Martha A Crosley Graham

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