History of Northern California

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Daniel Luce, prominent among the old and highly respected pioneers of California and residents of Haywards, is a ‘49er and has been conspicuously identified with several of the public enterprises of Alameda County.  He was a member of the board who secured the franchise for the electric light and the Knox water companies of Haywards in 1888.  He also owned and managed the water works of Haywards previous to the incorporation of the Knox Company.  Mr. Luce was born at Williamstown, Vermont, May 25, 1827, and while a babe his parents moved to Parkertown, Huron County, Ohio where he grew up and received his education.  His father, Joshua Luce, was a native of Vermont and a farmer by vocation, and died in 1842.  His mother, whose maiden name was Electa Sanderson, was also a native of Vermont and died in 1846.  Their ancestry were emigrants from England to America in the seventeenth century.  Daniel was apprenticed to the carpenter’s trade under J. E. Crowell, of Bellevue.  Completing his term of service in 1847, he went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and followed his trade there until 1849, when he started for California with an ox team by the southern route.  Six months later he arrived in San Francisco.  He and nine others hired a schooner to take them across the bay to San Antonio, now East Oakland, paying $80 for the trip; and here they worked for a time, getting out lumber in the redwoods.  In 1850 Mr. Luce went to Cold Springs on the north fork of the American River and followed mining for a few months.  He then became a dealer in cattle, which he drove back to the redwoods, where they were slaughtered.  In 1853 he returned to the “States,” where he remained a year.  Returning then to California, he located six miles north of Haywards, where he still owns 265 acres of farm and stock-grazing land.  In 1856 he moved to Contra Costa County and remained there until 1863.  Returning then to Haywards, he located where he still resides.


He is a member of the Board of Town Trustees, and has been a School Trustee.  Politically, he is a Democrat, and has been a member of the County Central Committee of his party for eight years.  He affiliates with Alameda Encampment of Haywards, I.O.O.F., and Clinton Lodge, No. 2019, K. of H. of East Oakland.


Mr. Luce was married at Mackville, Kentucky, January 15, 1854, to Miss Elizabeth L. Cull, a native of that State.  Their four living children are: Lucinda F., George P., Alice C., and David.  Their deceased are: Eliza, who died when a babe, and Mary A., who died in 1887.




Watson Barnes, an agriculturist in the northwestern part of Yolo County, was born January 2, 1844, in Boston, Massachusetts.  His father, Silas P. Barnes, a native of New Hampshire and a farmer and stock-raiser by occupation, came to California in 1854.  He was engaged in farming and stock-raising after 1851;  previous to that he was engaged in the mercantile business in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, for some thirty years.  The mother, whose maiden name was Olive Clapman, was a native of the State of Maine.  Both parents were of English ancestry.  Mr. Barnes, senior, arrived in Salt Lake City in July, 1851, and three years later came on to California, soon locating in Yolo County, where Black’s is now situated, and died April 11, 1888, leaving four children, and property worth about $100,000.  Mr. Barnes, the subject of this notice, owns 525 acres of finely improved land about five and a half miles northwest of Black’s.  He was married in Woodland, July 15, 1880, to Miss M. J. Houx, who was born in 1854, in California.




J. L. Dennis, street sprinkler, was born in Yolo County, March 6, 1864.  His parents, B. S. and Elizabeth (Smith) Dennis, the former a native of Georgia and the latter of Missouri, have both died in Yolo County.  Since the year 1887, Mr. Dennis has been running an engine on a dredging-machine on the Sacramento River, building the levee; and for the last two years, he has been engaged in his present occupation.  He has a fine little cottage on Fourth Street.  In 1887, in Woodland, he was united in matrimony with Miss Nellie Powers, also a native daughter of this county.  Her father is at present a night watch of Woodland; and her mother died when she was very young.  Mr. and Mrs. Dennis have one son, born May 9, 1888, and named Ray W.




Louis Dietz, of Woodland, was born in Bavaria, Germany, March 13, 1830, the son of John Frederic and Louisa (Schorm) Dietz.  At the age of eighteen years he emigrated to the United States, landing at New York; and his first work in this country was for a farmer about three miles above Auburn, between the Erie Canal and Hudson River.  During the one month he was employed there, he earned $8, and continued his journey on toward Cleveland, Ohio, where he had relatives living, and which place was his original destination.  There he went to harness-making, an art that he had begun to learn in the old country.  In the fall of 1851, he went to St. Louis, Missouri, and worked at his trade until spring, when he came on overland to California.  Starting from that city with a mixed train of horses and oxen, he passed Independence when the weather was bitter cold and wet  - the ice an inch thick.  No other event of importance occurred until they reached the Little Blue, where they found the cholera raging.  At Raft River, Mr. Dietz and two companions separated from the train and came on with two packed ponies and traveled on foot.  Arriving at Carson Valley, they sold their ponies and walked over the mountains without any provisions; but at the summit Mr. Dietz distanced his companions and came on alone to Volcano, then in El Dorado County, but now in Amador.


He followed gold-mining until after election that fall, when he and another gentleman went to San Antonio Bar in Calaveras County, put up at a tolerably convenient hotel, and the following day left Vinita, crossed the Stanislaus River to Columbia, where his comrade, an old man named Jones, became sick and was sent back to the old mines where he came from.  Mr. Dietz then returned to Angel’s Camp, mined there three months, walked to Stockton and thence to San Francisco, failed to find work there and finally went up to Sacramento and found employment there at his trade from a man named Nute for a year and a half.  He then bought out Mr. Nute and admitted a partner named Lawrence Heblin, under the firm name of Dietz & Co.  This was in 1854.  A short time afterward he established also a branch store at Folsom, and continued in business to the time of the great flood of 1861-62, which caused him a total loss of his property.  The next fall he moved to Woodland, just then started, and laid the foundation of a little business which has grown since then to magnificent proportions.  He is one of Woodland’s most successful businessmen and now owns considerable fine property in the town besides some farming land in the State of Washington.


In early life Mr. Dietz was a Democrat, but soon after the organization of Republicanism he became a member of that party and has remained in that relation ever since.  He is now treasurer of the Republican County Central Committee of Yolo County, and has been a member of that committee at different times for the past twenty years.  He is a member of the order of Chosen Friends.  Mr. Dietz was married in 1855 to Samantha Selby, a native of Ohio, and they have three sons and two daughters.




In the course of a very thorough examination of Napa County for the purpose of this work, no more beautiful or genuinely attractive place was found anywhere than Valley View Ranch the lovely country home of Mr. J. W. Roberts, the well-known mining man.  It is romantically situated just at the crest of the hills that shut in the upper end of Napa Valley, at an elevation of about 1,000 feet above tide level, and directly overlooking the picturesque town of Calistoga.  Nature has been lavish with her charms about the spot, and she has been so admirably helped out by art that it seems hard to imagine any improvement over what now exists.  The estate is not a very large one, comprising only ninety acres, but every inch of it is made to tell, either in the way of attractive surroundings and the development of the magnificent and unequaled view, or of practical and successful fruit-growing.  The residence, a cottage that devotes more attention to the comforts of living than to making an external show, stands at the edge of a veritable forest grove of pines and other trees that stretch off along the ridge that extends behind.  In front of it is a sloping flower-garden, in which appears, besides flowers and ornamental shrubs, many semi-tropical and exotic plants and trees.  Some orange trees growing here were of exceedingly thrifty growth, while the Abyssinian banana, Japanese polonium, and many other striking examples, showed clearly that Valley View is in the thermal belt and rarely knows of frost.  Over the tops of these trees and shrubs, as well as the pines, oaks, etc., of the mountain side lower down, is caught that ever wonderful and attractive view, up the valley to Mount St. Helena, down the valley a long distance, and into the valley where Calistoga seems a collection of dolls’ houses.  It would seem that one could never tire of such a prospect.


The fruit orchards stretch off to the right and behind the residence, and were formed with equal interest with the parts already described.  In all there are about 5,000 trees, most of them in bearing.  Otherwise about 2,500 are the silver prune, 1,000 the royal apricot, 400 apples, and the balance chiefly the Crawford peach.  It was observed that the trees had a most thrifty and well-cared-for appearance, comparing favorably in this regard with anything in the valley;  indeed it is one of the largest and best conducted and therefore important orchards in the upper end of the county.  It was noticed that in some parts the trees were somewhat close together;  Mr. Roberts finds that thus the ground is better shaded, thus retaining the moisture in the soil and helping stifle the weeds.  In the upper part of the orchard is the reservoir, an excavation 10 feet deep, capable of containing 250,000 gallons of water, thus affording a most abundant supply, which is piped to the house, grounds, fountains, etc., for irrigating purposes, and another spring of clear, cold water for the house.  Mr. Roberts has a large fruit-dryer on the back end of the place, just above the road that winds up the hills and over toward the Petrified Forest.  Above is the hot chamber, where the dried fruit is sweated before shipping.  Below is the dryer, a No. 4 California Acme, of very large capacity and good construction.  It has 124 trays, which will take, on the average, twenty-five pounds of fruit to the tray.  The product is chiefly packed in boxes before shipping, and has won a name for excellence wherever it is introduced.  The market is famed throughout the East generally:  Omaha, Baltimore, New York, Denver, etc., at top prices ruling for dried fruits. 


It hardly seems possible that this beautiful and well-improved place could be the work of only seven or eight years, yet such is the case, for Mr. Roberts only in 1883 took the place, then in a state of nature, and began its improvement.  It shows what an intelligent appreciation of the possibilities of the location, coupled with an artistic eye and backed by ample means, can do.  No wonder that Mr. Roberts’ children are the picture of healthful youth and vigor, and that the place should be a popular one with visitors from the valley and from the cities.


Mr. Roberts is a native of Ohio, the home of the Presidents.  He was born in 1837, near Columbus.  In 1857, he came to California, and until he purchased and began the improvement of Valley View, was engaged in mining enterprises in different parts of the coast.  His brother, George D. Roberts, is the well-known mining operator of New York City, having been a partner with the most famous Californians, such as Hearst, Gashweiler, Charles Felton, R. B. Monon, etc.  Mr. Roberts is a hearty, whole-souled gentleman whom it is a genuine pleasure to meet, a man of unusual energy and enterprise who accomplishes a great deal more than he talks.  In the best source of the term, he is a representative citizen of Napa County.




William D. Bassett, a farmer three miles south of Lakeport, is a native of Ohio, born in Coshocton, February 4, 1840;  his parents were natives of New York State, from whence they emigrated in an early day to Ohio.  Here Wm. D. received his education in the public schools.  In 1853 they again started westward, crossing the plains with ox teams to California.  They first settled in Tehama County, where they engaged in farming four years.  They then removed to Sonoma County, where they remained about one year.  In 1858 they came to Napa County, and settled near where the Bradford mine is now located, where they were engaged in stock-raising for nine years.  In 1867, they bought a ranch named Glenbrook, where the father, mother and brother now reside.  In 1884 William D. bought 160 acres, three miles south of Lakeport, where he now lives and has a beautiful home.  His products are grain, hay, and stock.  He has a fine residence and barn, a large orchard of bearing fruit trees and good improvements throughout. 


He was married June 16, 1887, to Miss Nancy Millikan, a daughter of Henry and Rachel Millikan, native of Indiana.  They have one child, William Cornelius.  Politically, Mr. Bassett is a stanch Republican.




C. Snavely is a member of the firm of Snavely & Baker, proprietors of the Woodland Winery, situated on Main Street, opposite the gas works, where they manufacture wines, vinegar, syrups and brandy.  The capacity of this establishment is 91,000 gallons of wine, 25,000 of syrup, and 3,000 of brandy.  Their syrups are mostly sold to the general Government.  Although this has ever been known as the Woodland Winery, it has changed hands several times.  The present proprietors make a complete success of their enterprise, having now established a reputation throughout the United States.


The subject of this sketch was born April 29, 1851, Washington County, Maryland.  His parents, John H. and Lydia (Dobson) Snavely, were also natives of Maryland, and are still living at their birth-place.  The father was born October 16, 1811, and still holds the old homestead as a farmer; and the subject’s mother was born March 6, 1818.


November 25, 1871, in Washington County, Maryland, Mr. Snavely was united in matrimony with Miss Myers, who was born on the adjoining farm to the old homestead.  They have five children living and two deceased, as follows:  Willie D., Fred, Leo, Mary J., Claudie H. (deceased), Fannie A. (deceased), and Clayton K.  Mr. Snavely is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 111, I.O.O.F., and Woodland Encampment, No. 71;  also of Court Star of Woodland, No. 6854, A.O.F., and of the Woodland Fire Company, No. 1.




Certain types of our American civilization as developed in California have been selected for this volume, the study of which should quicken the patriotism of a people, proud not only of the country’s marvelous development, but also of the phenomenally large proportion of her citizens whose lives are worthy to enter into permanent archives of our time and our national history.


Joseph Spencer Cone, of Tehama County, California, is one of the representative men of his time, and of his region, and of his occupation.  Although vice-president of a large banking corporation and the head of a large mercantile firm, he is essentially an American farmer, and proudly registers himself as such wherever called upon to state his occupation.  The farm has been always generous and kind to him.  Natural selection brought them together early in his life, and neither money changing, merchandising, politics, nor other allurements have ever shaken his love for the simple yet noble occupation of tilling the soil.


The lineage of Mr. Cone is traced back to the days of the Norman conquest, embracing eight and twenty generations, among the last of whom were many families which cast their lot in what was then the British-American colonies.  He is the son of Timothy Cone, a native of East Haddam, Massachusetts, who was the son of Joseph Cone, a naval officer in the Revolutionary War.


Joseph Spencer was the seventh of Timothy’s ten children, and was born on the 26th day of August, 1822, near Marietta, Ohio.  Of noble lineage, reaching by connected historical records to the invasion of England by William I, a more unaffected and thoroughgoing American, despising cant and humbug and modern snobbery, cannot be found anywhere.


Until reaching his twenty-second year Joseph worked on his father’s farm, making the best of such scanty educational facilities as the neighborhood afforded.  His choice inclined toward a profession, especially to that of the law;  and had he selected this career, he would, beyond a doubt, have achieved success, for he possessed a full share of the qualities required for this calling  - soundness of judgment and a ready wit, coupled with a remarkable force of character and an almost unlimited capacity for work.  But this was not to be, and fortunate it proved for his adopted State, and perhaps for himself, that while losing a good lawyer his county gained the assistance of one whose later services in developing the resources of Northern California, it is impossible to overestimate.


But Mr. Cone was resolved to make his own way in the world, and as a beginning set forth in 1843, upon obtaining his majority, on a trading expedition among the Cherokee Indians, with the results of which he had no reason to be dissatisfied.  From that date until 1850 the incidents of his career contained nothing calling for special mention. In the spring of this year the excitement that followed the discovery of gold being at its height, he joined a company of adventurous spirits like himself bound for California, starting from Jasper County, Missouri, and following the banks of the North Platte to the neighborhood of Fort Laramie.  Here he became wearied with the slow and tedious travel of the wagon trains, and with four others, packing their effects on horseback, made their way to Green River, where, as he supposed, a settlement was near at hand.  Meanwhile their animals had been stolen by the Piute, and now provisions ran short, so that for a fortnight they were compelled to live on  crow soup, to which were added a few teaspoonfuls of flour.  At length, however, all arrived in safety at Nevada City, following exactly the route afterward selected by the Central Pacific Railroad.


He mined, engaged in merchandising, packing and all the varied occupations of that early period until 1857, when he settled down to the stock-raising business in Tehama County, on Alder Creek, where he remained with fair success until 1868.  In that year he purchased the celebrated Rancho de Los Berrendos, near Red Bluff, which he has developed into the finest ranch property, probably, in the State.  The limits of this article will not permit a description of this noble estate.  It has grown under the inspiring genius of its owner until it embraces nearly 100,000 acres, and is a principality.


Every branch of agriculture known to the wonderful climate of California can here be seen.  Cereals, stock of all kinds, fruits, gardens, orchards, - indeed, all the varied products of our generous soil and climate here find splendid development.  Mr. Cone is vice-president of the Bank of Tehama County and one of its largest stockholders;  he is also at the head of a large mercantile corporation – the Cone & Kimball Company.  Other business also engages his attention, and yet every detail of his great farm receives his supervision.  He was president of the first railroad commission under the new constitution in 1879, and served with great benefit to the State for four years.  He was the leading spirit in the railroad commission, and through his practical knowledge of affairs and his friends in dealing with the question of freight rates, he succeeded in obtaining for the people a reduction on all the staple products of the soil going toward tide-water, from twenty five to thirty-three per cent.  He has marvelous executive ability, and yet does his work in so quiet a way as to appear not to do it at all.


Mr. Cone is a man of strong and decided convictions.  He is a Republican in politics and believes profoundly in the doctrine of protection to American industries and labor.  His recent travels abroad have confirmed him in this belief.  While not a communicant of any church, he respects all creeds and supports the church liberally and endeavors to walk uprightly before God and man.


In 1867 Mr. Cone returned to his native State and married the daughter of Colonel Reppert.  One son and two daughters are the fruit of this marriage.


Kind and generous and helpful to the needy; enterprising and broad-minded on all questions, he is one of the foremost men of this region, and has stamped his influence and his character upon the history of his time.  We regret that this work does not admit a more extended sketch of his career.




Daniel Chisholm, one of the prominent and prosperous businessmen of Haywards, located there is 1879, and has been conspicuous in the establishment and management of the electric-light system of that place, which was put into operation in 1888.  By this system a company has been incorporated, comprising Messrs. Chisholm, Farrel and Ingram.  The power is located on A Street, in the same building where are the wagon, carriage and agricultural works of Chisholm & Farrell.  This is also a general repair shop and blacksmith shop.  Wheelwrighting is also a specialty; and they also have a feed mill, where they grind different grains and sell the product to the local trade.  They employ about twelve men throughout the year.


Mr. Chisholm was born September 23, 1854, in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, where he grew up and learned blacksmithing.  His father, Hugh Chisholm, was by occupation a school-teacher.  His mother’s name before marriage was Catherine Monroe and the ancestry of both parents were Scotch.  Mr. Chisholm, our subject, came into the United States in 1878, locating in Plumas County, where he remained one year;  then he came to Haywards, worked for a time as a journeyman blacksmith, and later set up a shop for himself.  Finally, he bought an interest in his present business, which by shrewd judgment and progressive ideas he has made firm and prosperous.


He was married in Oakland, March 19, 1885 to Miss Isabella V. Foster, and they have two children:  Zelda G. and an infant daughter, Trello A.  Mr. Chisholm is politically a Republican, and socially a member of Sycamore Lodge, No. 129, I.O.O.F., at Haywards.




George Tandy, Jr., a harness manufacturer of Madison, is one of the old and respected citizens of the place.  His parents, George and Belle (McFedgen) Tandy, were natives of Ireland and remained there all their lives;  the father died in 18--, and was a cabinet-maker by trade; the mother died in 1868.  The subject of this sketch was born in Dublin, Ireland, and in 1868 he came to America, and by the Isthmus of Panama to California, having a voyage of about three weeks to San Francisco.  He went directly to Buckeye, now Madison, where he has since remained.  He learned his trade in Dublin, serving seven years as an apprentice.  He is a member of Madison Lodge, No. 253, F. & A.M., and of Madison Lodge, No. 150, O.C.F.




Cornelius Yager Brown, of the firm of Latimer & Brown, attorneys at law, Martinez, was born February 24, 1861, at La Fayette, Contra Costa Country, son of Lawrence M. Brown; and graduated at the school of Martinez in 1877.  In 1879, he went to Fresno County, took up land there and followed farming three years.  Returning to Martinez, he was appointed deputy sheriff under D. P. Mahan and served two years.  On the appointment of Paul Shirley as warden at San Quentin, he served in a position under him about eight months.  Returning again to Martinez, he was appointed Town Marshal, to fill out the unexpired term of Frank Pitts, who died in office.  About the time that he went to Fresno, where he began his law studies, and after serving his term as Marshal of Martinez, he continued his legal studies under the preceptorship of his uncle, Judge Thomas A. Brown, and was admitted to practice by the Supreme Court June 16, 1886.  He opened an office in Martinez, and in 1889 formed a copartnership with R. H. Latimer under the firm name of Latimer & Brown.


Lawrence M. Brown, deceased, formerly a resident of Contra Costs County was born in Greene County, Illinois, January 13, 1834, being the youngest son of Elam Brown, and was only ten years of age when he was brought across the plains by his father, his mother having died in Illinois.  They located in the San Antonio redwoods in Contra Costa County.  Lawrence remained with his father until he was about twenty-two years of age, when he was married and took charge of his father’s flour mill at La Fayette;  the town was then call Brown’s Mills.  In 1861, Mr. Lawrence M. Brown opened a general merchandise store and hotel in La Fayette.  When R. B. Hard was elected sheriff in 1867, Mr. Brown was appointed under-sheriff and moved to Martinez in December, 1867, taking charge of the office, which he conducted two years.  At the expiration of Mr. Hard’s term of office, Mr. Brown was candidate for Sheriff, on the Democratic ticket, while his brother, Warren Brown, was a candidate for the same office, on the Republican ticket, and was elected.  The subject of this sketch then entered law practice with his brother, Judge Thomas A. Brown, and continued in that relation until his death, August 10, 1877.  He had been admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court of California in 1868.  He was a strong Democrat, an active politician, was a candidate for office several times, but was defeated on account of the strong Republican majority of the county.  He was generally known as “Doc. Brown,” which title was given him, although not a physician, on the following occasion: In early days, while living at La Fayette, he was called upon to dress the wounded hand of a man, as there was no physician convenient;  so that in after years when he was asked who dressed the hand he would humorously reply, “Why, Doc. Brown.”


January 1, 1855, Mr. Brown married Miss Mary E. Yager, a native of Missouri, and they had two children:  Eugene Elam and Cornelius Yager.  The former is a practicing physician in Selma, Fresno County, and the latter is an attorney in Martinez.  Mr. Lawrence Brown was a member of the Odd Fellows order for a number of years. Lawrence M. Brown was beloved by all who knew him or ever came in contact with him, a man of sterling integrity, of a most amiable disposition, kind and affable;  and during a long and intimate acquaintance with him a friend never heard him spoken of or his name mentioned but as a model man.




J. B. McArthur, cashier of the Bank of Winters, is personally an illustration of the rapid rise to prominence which characterize the young blood of California.  The Bank of Winters first opened its doors for business in 1885, with E. Wolfskill, president;  William Sims, vice-president; and E. E. Kahn, cashier.  In 1886 J. B. McArthur succeeded E. E. Kahn as cashier;  Mr. Kahn’s other business duties requiring so much of his time he was compelled to resign his position as cashier, but still acted as secretary.  These have held their respective positions from that time until the present.  Mr. McArthur was born March 24, 1849, in Ontario, Canada, a son of Daniel and Catherine (McDonald) McArthur.  His father, a farmer by occupation, resided in Canada a greater portion of his life, dying there in 1857, at the age of sixty-five years; and the subject of this sketch was but four years old when his mother died.  He was brought up on a farm and started out in life for himself at the age of fourteen years, going to Minnesota, where he spent a year, thence to Nebraska, where he was six years engaged in farming.  The next three years he passed as a student at a college in Illinois; thence he went to the State University of Nebraska, where he attended one term;  in 1875 he came to California and located at Vacaville, where he accepted a position in the service of the Vacaville & Clear Lake Railroad Company as station agent, and remained three years;  and he finally removed to Winters, accepting a position with the railroad in that city.  He was employed as station agent until 1886 when he accepted his present position.  It may be said of him that “he was old when young that he might be young when old,” and his success in life has been entirely the result of his own industry, energy and perseverance.


He was married in 1877 to Miss M. L. Bryce, a native of Kentucky.  Three of their four children are living, namely:  Mary E., Charles S. and Bessie M.


Mr. McArthur has about 480 acres of land in Tulare County on which is carried on general farming, and 960 acres in Washington.  His neat and tidy residence in Winters is located on East Abbay Street.  He has been a member of the Baptist Church since he was eighteen years of age.




Silas D. Ingram, one of the prominent and progressive citizens of Haywards, was born in the township of Oswegatchie, St. Lawrence County, New York, March 31, 1821;  followed farming, lumbering, blacksmithing and studied medicine, but practiced it very little.  In 1855 he moved to Wisconsin, and afterward to Flint, Michigan;  Brighton, Ohio, following his trade here until 1859, and then moved to Morgan County, Missouri;  May 2, 1861, after seeing the Confederate flag raised in Kansas City, he started across the plains in company with others, for the Golden Coast.  While in camp at Mountain Springs, July 18, his train was attacked by Indians and a number of the whites were killed;  all the mules, sixty in number stampeded, and the Indians secured them.  Two members of the train started toward Salt Lake and overtook another train of emigrants, whom they finally induced, through fraternal suasion, to aid them on the way.  Soon afterward Mr. Ingram was fortunate enough to purchase some mules, and continue the trip on to California.  Locating at what is known as Pleasant Grove, Sutter County, Mr. Ingram was the first resident there and consequently the founder of the town, where he carried on his trade until 1866, when he moved to San Francisco, and became a dealer in live-stock for two years.  Then he moved to Sonoma County one year, thence to Austin Creek, near Duncan Mills, where five years later he was burned out, losing nearly everything.  In 1878 he built a hotel and conducted it as a pleasure resort.  In this and other enterprises, Mr. Ingram spent money freely in the construction of a wagon road over the mountain, from Guerneville to Fort Ross, passing by his hotel, this enterprise alone coating him some $8,000.  His next struggle was to induce the North Pacific Coast Railroad Company to extend their road to his place, in which he succeeded, thereby making his hotel easy of access from San Francisco.  In 1888 he sold out this resort and moved near Haywards, locating for a time on thirty-five acres of land which he still owns, and on which he raises nearly all varieties of deciduous fruits.  He is now a dealer in real estate, having his residence at Haywards.  He was the prime mover in establishing the electric light system in 1888, and he still owns half of the stock.  This company was incorporated by S. D. Ingram, D. Chisholm, and J. H. Farrell May 1, 1890.  Politically, Mr. Ingram is a Republican, and fraternally, he affiliates with the Masonic and Odd Fellows orders, -- latter being a member of Unity Lodge, No. 131, at San Francisco, of which he was also one of the charter members; he has passed all the chairs.


Mr. Ingram was married in Sequatchie, New York, February 12, 1855, to Miss Sarah A. Rolston, and they have three children:  Frederick S., Charles W., and George B.  The ancestors of Mr. Ingram on the paternal side were from Leeds, England, and on the maternal side Scotch and German.




G. D. Stephens, farmer near Madison, Yolo County, is one of the old ‘49ers of this golden county.  Leaving Cooper County, Missouri, May 10, 1849, he crossed the plains to the Golden Coast, arriving in Sacramento August 6, following.  He followed mining at Mormon Island, Missouri Bar, on the American River and Hangtown, and then with other parties he wintered in a cabin on the Sacramento River.  In the spring, he returned to mining on the middle fork of the American River.  July 4 he returned to Sacramento.  Soon, he entered the business of buying cattle and mules from arriving immigrants, and drove them down to Cache Creek, where in 1850 he made a camp, thinking it was Government land, but found it to be on the Berries grant, which they bought.  In 1853 he returned to Cooper County, Missouri, bought cattle, and in 1856 went to Oregon, continuing in the cattle trade.  He arrived again in Yolo County in March, 1861, where he has ever since made his residence.  Of the home ranch there are 3,400 acres and on the Gordon grant 1,000 acres.  He is engaged principally in the raising of livestock and grain.


Mr. Stephens was first married in 1872, is Sacramento, to Laura O. Wilcoxson, and they had two children:  Josie and Katie L.  He was subsequently married to Miss Nanie Lucas, in Woodland in 1877, and by this marriage there are nine children:  John L., Lulu M., Sallie S., Minnie, Bessie, George D., William F., Frank W., and Benjamin G.




Ephraim Q. Crites, a farmer near Black’s, was born April 22, 1838, in Wayne County, Ohio, the son of Jonah and Lucy Ann (Kindich) Crites, both natives of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; the father was a merchant until he was about forty years of age.  In 1856 Mr. Crites, our subject, sailed from New York for California, and after arriving here stopped for a few days at Sacramento; then mined two months on the Consumnes River; made a trip northward, stopping in Marysville for a short time; was next employed in a hardware store at Sacramento four years, and finally, in 1860, he went into Yolo County and purchased a tract of 170 acres, and one and a half miles northwest of Black’s, which is now a very fine ranch.  Fifty acres are set out in grapes, of which eighteen acres are in bearing, and thirty-two acres are two years old.  Twenty years ago he set out the first orchard in this vicinity.


August 3, 1884, he was united in marriage with Miss Delia F. Naupin, who was born February 12, 1863 in California, and they have two sons, named and born as follows:  Charles C., December 10, 1886, and Harry E., July 31, 1888.




John Zvierkovich, proprietor of the Opera Restaurant at Woodland, is the son of John and Mary (Vidole) Zwierkovich, natives of Dalmatia, Austria.  The father was a brick-mason by trade, and died in his native country in 1866;  and the mother is still living in the old country.  Mr. Zvierkovich, the subject of this brief mention, was born in Austria in 1864, and in 1878 came to California, locating directly in Stockton, where his first employment was as a waiter in a restaurant.  Being ambitious to excel as a caterer, he at length began to conduct such an institution upon his own responsibilities, in the city of Woodland, Yolo County, and he has now as fine a restaurant as can be found in any town of 15,000 inhabitants.  His present place was opened by him in 1887, and is estimated at $2,000 value.  He is a member of the I.O.R.M. of Sacramento, Lodge No. 39, is yet unmarried, and is esteemed by all as a good citizen and a responsible business man.




While the life history of the men of ’49 is always interesting and always instructive beyond that of any other body of men that ever lived, yet there are always a few the record of whose life and actions should be written more fully and read more generally, especially by the young, than any other.  The man who has made his way laboriously upward from the narrow circumstances of youth to the affluence of mature life;  who has achieved an education against the obstacles of lack of means and fortune, and who has climbed to a position high in the respect, esteem and honor of his fellowmen, the life of such a man should be written fully and without reserve, and be placed within the reach of the newer generation as an example of diligence.  It is such a career that it is our pleasure here to record – that of the Hon. Seneca Ewer, who is one of the prominent men in Northern California.


Mr. Ewer was born near Auburn, western New York, in the year 1823, his father being an agriculturist of that section.  When he was but nine years of age the family moved to Michigan, settling on the shores of the Huron River.  Here young Ewer grew up a stout and sturdy lad, inured to the hard work of a farm in those early days, and spending as much of his leisure time during these years as he could upon the water, gaining a knowledge that stood him in good stead afterward.  But he did not waste his time.  He fitted himself to become a teacher in the district schools, and with the money earned in this manner paying his way first to a preparatory school and then to college, graduating in 1847 at the Michigan University.  Remember that all this was done without aid from any one, saving only that a loving mother knit his socks, and fitted him out with pants and vests.  Like all the country school-teachers of that day, he boarded around from house to house, often having to walk as much as two miles to school.  A most amusing incident of the time, but one that will illustrate the state of affairs that then existed, occurred to Mr. Ewer.  While he was boarding at the house of an English family, one cold night  they brought out a warming-pan to warm the schoolmaster’s bed.  It was the first thing of the kind he had ever seen and he was much interested in the novel instrument.


Determining to come to California in 1849 and test for himself the truth of the golden stories that were flying over the country, he set out for the long trip overland from Michigan.  At. Lexington, Missouri, a party of five, consisting of Mr. Ewer, Ben Manning, George Reeves, and son and another set out together.  Later on they united with the famous Michigan train that called themselves the Wolverines and came in by the Lassen route.  On the road they fell in with Mr. Loring Pickering, of the San Francisco Call and Bulletin, and family, and finding the route difficult, they joined teams and left a wagon behind.  Nearing the headwaters of the Feather River, Mr. Ewer with Mr. Pickering and family packed over the Feather River in Sacramento Valley, leaving the team to follow as fast as it could.  They had a pretty hard time of it, being short of provisions;  but the lucky shooting of a deer by Mr. Ewer provided for them abundantly.  They came out at Long’s Bar, reaching there November 4, 1849.  The wagon, reduced to a cart, came in soon after and Mr. Pickering began trading in a small way, while Mr. Ewer mined and knocked about generally.  The hardships of the time may be imagined when the only bed that Mr. Ewer had for quite a time was a wagon bed shared with others.  The boat used for crossing the river was swept away during the high water with several men in it, one of whom was drowned.  To replace it one of the old-fashioned curved wagon beds was used for a ferry and answered until a better one could be constructed.  Meantime, the soaking rains prevented the wagons from coming in with provisions and “grub” ran short.  Mr. Ewer and four others were sent out on a perilous trip down the river by boat to Sacramento to obtain supplies.  Mr. Ewer’s boating experiences on the Huron River came into play, he acting as steersman.  They got the provisions and after a terrible hard pull up the current, found to their disgust that, the rains being over, wagons had got in and there was a plentiful supply of everything.


The following summer Mr. Ewer was engaged in mining on the middle fork of the Feather River, twenty miles above Bidwell’s Bar, and from the fall of 1851 to 1855 was in the general merchandise business at Hamilton, then the county-seat of Butte County, and in the fall of 1855, he went to Oroville and began the practice of law, at the same time devoting himself to the breeding of stock , cattle, sheep, etc., in Butte County, and rapidly attained a prominent position.  In 1854 he was elected a member of the Assembly on the Democratic ticket, attending the session which met at Benicia, and removed the capital to Sacramento, and again in 1865, he was chosen to represent Butte County in the State Senate by the Republican party for the years 1866-68.  Previous to this he had in 1852 been Judge of the old Court of Sessions of Butte County.  He was also delegate to all political conventions, etc., of his own party during these years.  Finally, in 1870, he came to Napa Country and settled in St. Helena, since which time he has been one of the most active and public-spirited residents of the Napa Valley.  It is chiefly to his energy that St. Helena owes her excellent water supply.  He has been an active promoter of the wine-growing interests of the valley, and is the possessor of large vineyards.  The splendid fire-proof, stone wine-cellar belonging to Ewer & Atkinson at Rutherford is a signal proof of his efforts in this direction.  He was one of  the organizers and the first president and is now a director of the Bank of St. Helena; and is a member of the board of directors of the Grangers’ Bank of California in San Francisco, and of the Napa Bank at Napa City.  He has one of the finest residences, surrounded with magnificent grounds, in St. Helena, where he is now enjoying the comforts that have been so well earned by his active and energetic life, and in which, regarded with the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens, he can justly spend the remainder of his days, as becomes the man who by long and successful labors has carved out his fortune with his own hands.


Mr. Ewer was a Democrat previous to the war, being elected to the Assembly on that ticket.  Since the war he has been a Republican, active, yet conservative.


His son, Fred S. Ewer, is following his father’s footsteps and seems likely to take an equally prominent place in years to come.  He is the secretary of the St. Helena Water and Gas Companies, and is active in the wine interests of his father, showing promise of becoming an expert wine-maker.




It is the general opinion among experts that while California can make wines as good as are to be found in any other part of the world, yet, on account of the dryness of the atmosphere, she does not succeed in aging them, as a general thing.  The remedy for this has been found in adopting the system of storage for aging purposes in tunnels run into the hills, where a uniform low and moist temperature can be maintained and the resultant wine be found perfect in every particular.  The cellars at Schramsberg Vineyards were found to be the most complete component of this fact of all in this part of the State, and this circumstance accounts for the exceedingly high reputation that the Scramsberger wines have attained.  The cellars are nothing but a series of tunnels, with cellar-like excavations and transverse connections, run into the hillside.  There are two sets of them, the upper consisting of two tunnels extending into the hill a distance of 200 feet, and connected by cross tunnels, and the lower, of a similar character, only 400 feet in length.  In front of the former is the fermenting house, 85x45 feet in size of wood, but shortly to be replaced by an erection of stone, to be 130x45 feet in size, with a central tower 60x60 feet, the whole suitably and conveniently arranged for the purposes of winemaking.  When this fine building is completed the whole establishment will present an entourage that will have no equal for substantial beauty and convenience anywhere in the State.  The house-mansion, as it might be more properly called, which has lately received it finishing touches, is large and very handsome, being built of stone with hard-wood finish.  The inside finish is rich yet ornate, every detail and particular the best of its kind.  Before the house stretch ornamented grounds, now being laid out to flowers and shrubbery, with taste and discrimination.  The barns and stables, of a similar class of architecture, the stone work constructed from material quarried on the premises, are like handsome structures.  The location of vineyards and buildings is one peculiarly romantic and pleasing, advantage being taken of the natural capabilities of the position to consult at once utility and a love of the beautiful.  The vineyards are in the thermal belt, where no frost touches the vines, and from their commanding situation of the western foothills of the Napa Valley, they present views of great extent and of singular beauty.


It is no wonder, under all these circumstances, that the wines from Schramsberg are so excellent -- this statement, however, going almost without saying, considering the high and rapidly extending fame that the Schramsberger wines, both red and white, have attained throughout the United States and Europe – in fact wherever introduced.  The drive up to Schramsberg from the valley is not the least of the attractions of the spot.  It is one long to be remembered, the road winding upwards amid almost tropical verdure, and beneath the lofty forest trees, most of the way beside a babbling brook that flows in every season.  As one emerges at last from the forest, and the elegant mansion and other buildings are seen nestling against the hill, while the orderly rows of grapevines stretch up out of sight, the picture is one to arouse enthusiasm, and can certainly never be forgotten.


This great establishment is the product of the life-work of Mr. Jacob Schram and his estimable wife.  In the thirty years or so since they bought and began the improvement of the Schramsberg Vineyards, they have transformed a rough, unpromising hillside from its native jungle of forest and underbrush to an estate worthy even of the banks of the Rhine itself for beauty and worth.  Perhaps the memory of the old home worked in their minds as they planned and labored, for both Mr. and Mrs. Schram are natives of the Rhineland, one born two miles and the other within one mile of the historic city of Worms, or rather at the very side of the famous Liebfrauenberg Vineyard, whence comes the noblest of wines, the “Liebfraumilch,” which they are now coming near to reproducing in the New World.


Mr. Schram’s life has been one of singular variety and incident, with the many ups and downs so characteristic of the Californians of the earlier days.  No matter what came, he never gave up;  and though he had many difficulties and discouragements to encounter, he was always master of the situation, and came out superior to the emergency.  His life shows well what may be accomplished by energy and pluck when joined with common sense.  Perhaps, too, he was actuated by character derived from his ancestors in his successful struggle upwards from narrow circumstances to affluence and eminence.  His uncle, General Schram, will be remembered by all students of history for his prominence in the Napoleonic Wars.  His father was also a member of the celebrated guard as captain under Napoleon.  Certain it is that he has never allowed any difficulty to daunt him, but he has always pressed energetically forward.


Mr. Schram was born May 26, 1826, at Pfeddersheim, two miles from Worms, on the left bank of the Rhine.  In 1840, when but a mere lad, he set out for America to push his own way in the world.  In 1852 he came to California having had many a trial to overcome, but always meeting them bravely.  The exigencies of a busy life brought him to Napa Valley in 1857, and shortly afterward, having lost his health, he purchased the hillside property and immediately began its improvement, being assisted in every detail by Mrs. Schram, to whom he was married in February 1859; her maiden name being Annie Christine Weber, and her birthplace Hocheim, one mile from Worms.  She has proven a most worthy helpmate to her husband, cheerfully bearing the full share of the hardships and trials of the earlier days, staying at the vineyard alone while her husband was carrying on business in the valley, herself directing the improvements and ordering the dealings.  Today, with equal talent, she graces her handsome home, as in the earlier days she conducted the petty affairs of the laborers.  The knowledge gained in the old home on the Rhine – the true home by the way of the vine, of the soil’s varieties and the value of the hillsides for grape-culture, have all been put into profitable use by Mr. and Mrs. Schram;  and hence it is they chose the admirable location in the foothills and are now reaping the return for the greater labor of clearing those hillsides, in the superior quality of the Schramsberger Riesling, Hock and Burgundy that have become so celebrated.  It is safe to say that the 100 acres of vines upon this estate are worth five times as much or more that number in the valley bottom.  An extensive young olive orchard has also been set out, and judging by appearances, it will prove an equally wise investment with the vines for excellence of quality and worth.


Mr. and Mr. Schram have one son, Herman Adolph, now a young man of nearly thirty years, who is developing the same traits of energy, intellect and diligence which so abundantly characterize his parents.  He is busy improving a property of his own in Knight’s Valley.  Mr. and Mrs. Schram had another child, a daughter of unusual brightness and promise.  Her death in youth was an irreparable blow to her parents.


Such is the brief and in no way sufficiently appreciative sketch of the life and labors of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Schram, yet, we hope, a correct account as far as it goes.




Charles H. Tozer, M. D., deceased occupied a most prominent position in the ranks of his profession, and is known to thousands as a skillful, attentive, and well-read physician, while regarded as an authority in the profession.  He was born in the city of New York in the year 1801, but when an infant was carried to England, where he received his classical and medical education and began the practice of his profession.  In the study of medicine he had the advantage of a hospital practice at Guy’s Hospital, London, under the celebrated Doctor Abernethy.  In 1849 he started for California, but tarried a while on the way at Panama to care for fever patients at that point, finally coming on to this State in 1850.  In the early days, he went with a party of fourteen to Shasta mines, but soon returned to Sacramento, where he practiced until after the great flood of 1861, when he removed to San Francisco, practicing there until his death, which took place June 29, 1880, at his residence in Oakland.  His son, Charles F., whom the writer found hard at work improving the snug ranch of eighty acres perched on the summit of the divide between Conn and Napa Valleys, was born in Oakland, May 11, 1872, and was proceeding with his education at Hopkins” Academy and elsewhere, when he lost his health.  For his benefit, Mrs. Tozer purchased the present place two years ago, erected a cozy little house and has settled down to remain until the health of her son will permit a return to her comfortable home in Oakland.  Meantime, they are improving their place, which is one of great beauty and commands a view of wide range and great attractiveness, by planting out trees, vines, etc.  Mrs. Tozer, whose maiden name was Miss E. J. Billings, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and came to California in 1862 to join her former husband, Mr. P. O. Valentine, who had preceded her here.  Shortly after her arrival, he died.  In the course of time, she was married to Dr. Tozer, and is now his widow.  Her family all reside at Medford, Massachusetts, a well-to-do and prominent family.  She has one brother, Frank D. Billings, of Lathrop in this State, the only relation on this coast.  Dr. Tozer has a daughter by a previous marriage, who was the wife of the late Mr. McNeill, of Adams, McNeill & Co. of Sacramento.




George E. Alexander, M. D., of Haywards, began his medical studies under the preceptorship of an eminent practitioner at Beloit, Wisconsin, and taking the regular course of lectures at the Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, he graduated in 1878.  He accepted an appointment as physician in the Government service and came to the Pacific coast and filled his position as such under the command of Generals Davis and Howard, in the department of the Columbia.  He resigned this commission in 1875 and came to Gilroy, Santa Clara County, practiced for seven months, then followed his profession at San Ramon, Contra Costa County, for a period of ten years, and finally in 1886, he moved to Haywards, where he has already built up a lucrative practice.


He dates his birth October 15, 1847, Pennsylvania.  He enlisted as a private in the Sixteenth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, and served as such until 1865, when he was mustered out.  He then entered Beloit (Wisconsin) College, where he commenced his literary education.  He then spent a few months on the Kansas and Colorado plains; then a year at Monmouth, Illinois, and then returned to Beloit, where he began his medical studies as already stated.  He is the eleventh of thirteen children in his father’s family.  His parents, Randall and Sarah (Carothers) Alexander, are both native of the Keystone State, his father being born in Franklin County in 1807.  His paternal ancestors were from the north of Ireland, of Scotch-Irish extraction.  His great-grandfather, Reynold Alexander, was one of the early settlers of Pennsylvania and served in the Revolutionary War.  His grandfather, William Alexander, was born in what is now Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and served as an officer in the War of 1812.  Politically, Dr. Alexander is Democratic and takes an active part in political matters.  He is a member of Alamo Lodge, No. 122, of Walnut Creek, and of Oakland Commandery, No. 11, K. T.  He was married at San Ramon, October 15, 1877, to Miss Mary E. Lynch, a native of California, and they have two children: Archie and Adele.




F. M. Strickland, member of the firm of Howells and Strickland, proprietors of the leading grocery house in Madison, is the son of Thomas and Louisa (Rother) Strickland, the former a native of England, born in 1803, and a physician, who died in Guthrie County, Iowa, at the age of sixty-three years, and the latter a native of Germany and still living in Guthrie County.  Mr. Strickland was born in the same county in 1862, and came to Madison, California, in 1880, where he has ever since been successfully engaged in mercantile business.  The present partnership was formed September 1, 1888, and they carry between $5,000 and $6,000 worth of stock.  Mr. Strickland was married in 1889, in Madison, to Miss Mamie Brown, a native of Placer County, California, and they have one son, Harry Francis, born in Madison, Yolo County, California, April 13, 1890.




James G.  Cooper, M. D., Haywards, is an old practitioner of the regular profession.  He was born June 19, 1830, in New York City.  In 1840 his parents moved into New Jersey, where our subject completed his school studies.  His father, William Cooper, was born in 1797 in New York, and was a farmer by vocation until he was appointed Associate Judge by the Governor of that State.  He also served in the war of 1812, as an officer.  He married Miss Mary Wilson, a native of Troy, New York, and they had six children, our subject being the first.  The Doctor’s paternal grandfather was a native of Yorkshire, England; the ancestors on his mother’s side were also English, and came to America during the last century, some of them serving in the Revolutionary War.  Dr. Cooper graduated in his profession at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York City in 1851, and practiced in the city hospitals there two years.  In 1853 he received an appointment from the Government and came to the Pacific Coast as the physician of the surveying party of the Northern Pacific Railroad.  He remained with this party until 1856, when he returned to New Jersey, and practiced his profession there until 1860, when he joined another expedition, accompanying 300 soldiers to the Pacific Coast by way of Fort Benton and the northern line of forts, who left detachments at different points along the line.  He wintered with the troops at Fort Mojave on the Colorado River, and then went to San Diego and thence to San Francisco.  He volunteered and served as surgeon in the Second California Volunteer Cavalry, and served until 1865, when he resigned and came to Oakland, remaining one year.  Then he practiced medicine in San Francisco until 1871, when his health became impaired and he moved south to Ventura County, where he followed agriculture until 1873.  He then moved to East Oakland and remained there until 1875, when he finally settled in Haywards, where he has retired from active practice.  He is a member of Haywards Lodge, No. 18, A.O.U.W., and of Clinton Lodge, No. 2019, K. of H., of East Oakland.


The doctor was married at Oakland, January 9, 1866, to Miss Rosa M. Wells, a native of New York, and they have three children, namely:  William W., Fannie S., and James S.




Dr. Andrew R. Pennington, dental surgeon at Haywards, at the corner of Main and Calhoun Streets, was born at Hillsboro, Ohio, August 22, 1842, the eldest of fifteen children of Jacob and Mary J. (Keys) Pennington.  His father was born in Virginia, October 4, 1816, and moved with his family to the State of Ohio in 1826; he is a farmer by vocation.  Dr. Pennington in 1862 enlisted as a private soldier in the Sixtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and subsequently in the Twenty-fourth Battery of Light Artillery of that Sate, and was mustered out of the service in 1864.  After the war he returned to his native State and engaged in the live-stock trade until 1866, when he went to Macomb, Illinois and remained there two and a half years.  After spending a year in Kansas, he came in 1870 to California to improve his health.  He visited San Diego, Lathrop and San Jose, and spent a year, 1874-1875, in Oakland.  In the fall of the latter year he went to Salem, Oregon, where he studied dentistry until 1878.  Returning to California he located at Lathrop two years; then he was one year at Grass Valley, and then until 1887 at Nevada City, when he finally located at Haywards, where he has established a good reputation and has a good business.  Politically he is Republican; is a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic and also affiliates with the Druids and Ancient Order of United Workmen at Haywards.  He was married in Ohio to Miss Martha A. Parker, and they have two children – John E. and Ira S.




Amos S. Du Bois, M. D., San Leandro, was born in Allegany County, New York, March 8, 1829, of the old Du Bois stock of French extraction, who settled in New York probably before the Declaration of Independence in America.  His grandfather, Conrad Du Bois, was a private soldier in the American Army during the Revolutionary War and in the War of 1812.  The doctor’s father, Abram Du Bois, was a native of New York and a Methodist minister, who, in 1836, moved to Pennsylvania.  He married Miss Mehitabel Whitmore Sumner, a native of Massachusetts.  After a residence of two years in Pennsylvania, they returned to New York State, where Dr. Du Bois finished his education at Milan, Ohio, and taught school in Ohio until 1852.  Returning to New York, he came thence to California by the Nicaragua route, landing in San Francisco on February 1, 1853.  Until 1858, he followed mining in the vicinity of Sacramento, where he was employed by the water company for about two years.  From 1861 to 1865 he taught school and studied medicine, graduating in San Francisco.  He practiced his chosen profession at Lincoln, Placer County until 1868, when he went to Auburn, the county-seat, and took charge of the county hospital, which position he filled until August, 1874.  He continued in general practice there until 1874, when he went East, took a course of lectures in New York City and special studies in surgery at the Bellevue Hospital Medical College of that city, and graduated in 1875.  Returning to California he located at San Leandro, where he is now, and has been for fifteen years a member of the board of health, and also visiting physician and surgeon to the Alameda County Hospital and Infirmary, and has an extensive practice.  Socially he affiliates with the F.&A.M. and the I.O.O.F.  May 28, 1865, at Oakland, he married Miss Georgiana Barlow, a native of Canada.  Her grandfather on her father’s side was a colonel in the Revolutionary War.  Dr. Du Bois has a grown son named Sumner V.




On these pages we present a sketch of the eventful life-history of one of the oldest and most worthy of Napa County’s pioneers.  During the forty-four years of Mr. Cyrus’ residence in the valley, he has been an active participant in the changing of the face of nature from a wild and untamed state to the beautiful country of today; and during this time it is safe to say that no one in the valley has been more generally respected or more universally esteemed or more justly entitled to the same.  Mr. Cyrus is the son of Enoch and Rebecca (Cook) Cyrus, born in McDonough County, Illinois, March 20, 1831, at a point near La Harpe, not far from the Mississippi River.  His grandparents were originally from North Carolina.  A few years later the family removed to Missouri, settling first in Jackson County, and late Andrew County.  In the spring of 1846 a train of about fifty wagons was made up for the long journey to the Pacific Coast, among which were included the outfits belonging to the Cyrus family.  The train scattered as they made their way across the plains, about twenty wagons that were bound for California keeping together.  On the Humboldt River the Indians became troublesome, stealing quite a number of cattle and stock.  The trip was made via Truckee, and the Sacramento Valley was finally reached October 21, 1846.  The Cyrus family pushed on directly to Napa Valley, arriving there in November of that year.   For a little time they stayed on the Yount Ranch, and then pushed on to a point a little below St. Helena, where they remained for two and a half years.  In 1849 they removed to Calistoga and a year later to their present place, one of the most fertile and lovely spots in the whole valley, a short distance above the town.  Here, February 3, 1853, the father died of small-pox, being followed shortly after by two sons and two daughters.  The mother died in 1873.


Mr. Cyrus has cut up his place, dividing it among his children, and selling portions, but still retaining sixty acres for himself, and still residing in the comfortable residence which has long been a landmark of the upper end of the valley.  In 1849 Mr. Cyrus went to the mines, visiting the Stanislaus and the upper waters of the Sacramento, and being well acquainted with the stirring incidents and leading characters of those exciting times.  From him is obtained much material in regard to those days, as also with reference to the virgin state of the Napa Valley, the abundance of game, the grizzly bears, the disappearance of the Indians and the rise of the town, etc.  He has been a farmer all his life, paying but little attention to politics as a general thing.  He was brought forward in 1877 as a candidate for County Treasurer on the Republican ticked, but was defeated by A. G. Boggs.  He has steadfastly declined all other political preferment, wishing rather to attend to his private affairs.


Mr. Cyrus was married June 5, 1855, to Miss Lavina Graves, a native of Illinois, and a pioneer of 1846, and the heroine of stirring events.  They have five children:  H. E., now in the lumber business in Calistoga, who has one daughter;  J. W., a civil engineer and surveyor at Tacoma, and unmarried;  Mrs. M. A. Sherwood, whose husband is in business in Calistoga; Mrs. Sarah G. Crouch, living at home; and Miss Rachel E., also at home, the latter being a graduate of the Calistoga High School, and deeply interested in Indian relics and in matters archaeological.  Mr. Cyrus is one of the most interesting talkers to be met – a perfect mine of incident and information in reference to early events, hunting scenes, and everything of the past.  A worthy man and popular, he is truly a representative citizen of the Napa Valley.




Emanuel Manasse has lived in California for the past twenty-five years, and in Napa since 1872.  Born in Frankfort-on-the-main, Germany, in 1842, he received his education in the public schools, and was then apprenticed to the tanning business, serving for two terms, the first in the tanning of heavy and the second in the tanning of light leathers, thus gaining a thorough knowledge of the business.  At the age of nineteen he came to this country, and at once secured employment at a large salary.  Owing to the war then in progress and the heavy duties on French calf and kid skins, Mr. Manasse invested his entire capital, about $300, in a small plant for tanning leather.  He was very successful, realizing some $7,000 in one year, when a fire swept factory, stock and all his means into oblivion in a couple of hours.  Having about money enough to bring his wife and children to California, where her father then lived, he started in business in San Francisco, with the usual ups and downs of those days, where he remained until 1872, when he came to Napa to take charge of the manufacturing in the establishment of B. F. Sawyer & Co.  Beginning as foreman, he soon originated a method of dressing leather now known as the Napa Patent Process, which he at first allowed the firm to use on payments of royalty, but in 1879 he became a member of the firm, and later on its incorporation as a stock company, he was elected vice-president and was one of its directors.


Mr. Manasse was married in 1864 to Miss Amelia Helwig, born in his own native town, and a daughter of Henry Helwig, for many years engaged in the tanning business in San Francisco.  They have six children: Lena, a graduate of Snell Seminary, Oakland; Henry, who graduated at Napa College, and is now connected with the Norton Tanning Company of San Francisco, of which Mr. Manasse is a stockholder and director;  Anna, also a graduate of Napa College; Edward, who is now learning the tanning business in the Sawyer establishment;  August, attending Oak Mound College; and Amelia, who is still attending the Napa public school.  Mr. Manasse is a member of the Masonic order, Yount Lodge, No. 12;  member of Napa Chapter, No. 30;  member of the Napa Lodge, No. 18, I.O.O.F., and of the Odd Fellows’ Hall Association of Napa.




D. A. Jackson, horticulturist near Woodland, is one of the most extensively known citizens in Central California;  is well-known even in the Eastern States as a fruit raiser and packer.  He was born February 14, 1831, in Knox County, Ohio, a son of B. B. and Polly (Ruggles) Jackson, natives of Pennsylvania.  The father, a farmer by occupation, removed to Ohio at an early age, remained there until 1860, and then came on to California in company with his sons, and here he remained until his death, which occurred in 1868, in Yolo County, when he was about sixty-eight years old.  Mr. Jackson, our subject, was brought up on a large farm in Ohio.  In 1864 he came to California across the plains, the trip occupying some ninety days.  Going directly to Yolo county, he rented land in the vicinity of Woodland and began farming, raising wheat.  In a few years he found himself able to purchase a home for himself, which he did by buying eighty acres for $1,750.  The farm is now valued at $400 per acre, and improvements $8,000.  For ten years he continued wheat-raising, hauling the same to Sacramento to market.  He began the fruit industry in 1883, and has sold his land in ten-acre tracts until he now has only thirty acres left, which is in the city limits of Woodland and devoted to choice fruit trees and vines.  He took the first premium at the State Fair in 1889, receiving the gold medal for the best six varieties of table, raisin and shipping grapes.  In the season he employs from thirty to forty hands, white labor, all from Woodland.  He is also a large buyer and packer.  His goods are shipped and sold to all the eastern states and Canada.  This year (1889) he shipped 100 tons.


Mr. Jackson was married in 1850, to Miss Cynthia Cummings, a native of Ohio, and their children are:  Ellis, wife of Henry Fisher, a resident of Hunsford, Tulare County; also one son, Ralph W., twenty-one years old.




B. F. Holden has been a resident of Napa for seven years.  For two years of this time he purchased wool for the Boston market and for the same length of time was bookkeeper for the Sawyer Tanning Company and the Norton Tanning Company, at their San Francisco office, but for the past three years he has been treasurer and manager of the Napa Woolen Mills.  This concern was originally started in a small way, but in 1885 it was formed into a stock company, of which S. E. Holden is now president, B. F. Holden , treasurer and manager, and C. R. Gritman, the cashier of the Bank of Napa, secretary.  This company doubled the capacity of the mill, which now occupies one main structure, 100 feet square, of two stories and basement, and an adjoining building for the engine and boilers.  On the main floor there are sixteen broad Knowles looms, and the finishing machinery; on the second floor is located the carding and spinning machinery;  while the scouring and assorting of the wool is carried on in the basement.  Two boilers, one of fifty-horse-power and one of thirty, furnish steam for the engine and for the necessary process of manufacture.  About $150,000 worth of goods, principally flannels and blankets, is turned out by these mills every year.  They employ about forty hands, use mostly Californian wool, and manufacture only fine wool blankets and a fine grade of flannels, used for shirts and suitings.  Since Mr. Holden has assumed the management of the mills, they have gradually improved in their general results, and are now in fairly prosperous condition, and the outlook is very promising.  Their products are mostly disposed of in San Francisco, through the house of Murphy, Grant & Co., Green Baum, Weil, Michels & Co., but they have also been forwarding a considerable quantity to T. A. Shaw & Co., of Chicago.  They also ship goods to Sacramento, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon.


Mr. Holden was born in Saxonville, Massachusetts, in 1842.  His parents were B. F. and Harriet (Morse) Holden, both branches of the family being of old New England stock, whose ancestors emigrated from England in the seventeenth century.  His father moved to Concord, New Hampshire, in 1843, and established a woolen factory under the firm name of B. F. & D. Holden, which afterward became the Concord Manufacturing Company, in which B. F. learned the business, and later acquired an interest that he still continues to hold.  He attended the public schools of Concord, and was a member of the class of 1865 of Wesleyan University at Middletown, Connecticut.  He was married in 1864 to Miss Minnie Crockett of Middletown.  Returning to Concord, after leaving the University, he engaged in the woolen business at Bristol, New Hampshire, where he remained until 1883, when he came to California.  They have two children: Mary Genevieve, a graduated of the State Normal School at San Jose, and now engaged in teaching in Napa County; and Clarence, who is attending school at Napa.  He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Mr. Holden was a member of the New Hampshire Legislature, elected from Bristol for the sessions of 1874-1876.  In 1887 he invested in the stock of Napa Woolen Mills, and took charge as treasurer and superintendent.  This position he now holds.  During the few years he has lived in California, Mr. Holden has applied the same active and intelligent effort to his business that distinguished him in his New Hampshire home, and as a result the establishment he represents is moving forward successfully, and building up a very large and successful business.




William Day, one of the prominent businessmen of Sunol, was born at Aurora, Erie County, New York, June 20, 1852.  His father, Ithamar C., a Canadian by birth, emigrated into the United States when a young man.  He married Miss Elvira Davis, a native of Vermont.  William was reared and educated in this native town, and on reaching the age of manhood, he went to Portage County, Wisconsin, and in a few months came on to California, by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and located at Sunol.   First he worked upon the ranch of Charles Hadsell for twelve years, and in 1886, he established his present business as proprietor and manager of the livery, feed, and sale stable and trader in live-stock.  He has also a large warehouse for the storage of hay, grain, etc., and he also has an extensive commission business.  He is a member of the Board of School Trustees, a worthy citizen and a man who enjoys the confidence and respect of his neighbors.


Mr. Day was married in San Leandro in 1871 to Miss Nettie Bennett, a native of Wisconsin, and they have nine children, namely:  Frank, Daisy, Frederick, Walter, William, Emma, Arthur, Nellie and an infant son.




Henry Perry, machinist and proprietor of a shop in Woodland, is the son of Elisha and Nancy Perry, natives of Maine.  He was born in Franklin County, that State, March 16, 1822.  At the age of twenty-two he went to Wareham, Massachusetts.  In the year 1847, he went to Penobscot County, Maine, where he was engaged in blacksmithing for ten years.  He then came to California in 1858, by water, and since then has made two trips East.  He first came to Yolo County in 1860, when there was but one house in Woodland, and was owned by Frank Freeman, and ever since then Mr. Perry has made Woodland his home.  He embarked in the machine business in 1870, in a shop back of the present Bank of Woodland.  His present establishment is on Fourth Street, between Main and Lincoln Avenue.  He does a much larger business than the size of his shop would indicate.  The machinery he is running here cost $2,500.  The engine is a five-horse power.  Blacksmithing is also an industry included within his operation.


In 1849 Mr. Perry married Miss Elizabeth Whitehouse, by whom he had two children, John F. and Jessie R., and Mrs. Perry died in 1864, while Mr. Perry was in California.  January, 1869, he married Mrs. Rachel Mudgett, a widow with two sons.  By the present marriage there are the following children: Etna J., aged eighteen years; Emma W., seventeen years, and Clarence H., sixteen years.




George C. Martin, a farmer near Woodland, is a son of James and Lina (Williams) Martin, who were among the early settlers of California, and will be remembered by many old pioneers.  They were natives of Virginia, where they remained until 1844;  they then moved to Livingston County, Missouri, and resided there until 1853;  he sold his property there, spent one summer in Texas, returned to Missouri and remained there until the spring of 1854, when he with his family came overland to the Golden State, with horse and ox teams, and settled in Yuba County, eight miles above Marysville, on the Yuba River.  There the senior Martin resided until his death in 1861, when he was sixty years of age.  His wife survived until 1884, when she died, in Yolo County, at the age of seventy-five years.  In their family were four sons and one daughter, all of whom came to California.  One son, M. D. Martin, came in 1849, and died in Yolo County in June, 1872.


George C. was born January 30, 1833, in Giles County, Virginia and had been all his life upon a farm.  He was with his father in Yuba County until 1862, when the well-remembered floods of that year destroyed their agricultural stock.  He sold out and came to Yolo County, purchasing a farm northwest of Cacheville, where he remained until the fall of 1870.  He then purchased his present property, consisting of 160 acres of choice bottom land, a mile and a half southeast of Woodland, which is well improved and fertile and well stocked with farm buildings, etc.  He has altogether in Yolo County 410 acres.  His home place is especially adapted to the raising of fruit and alfalfa.


Mr. Martin was married March 7, 1867, to Miss Mary A. Waysman, a native of Missouri, and they have three sons and two daughters, namely:  Jackson L., Anna L., James W. (who died July 25, 1883), George V., and Mary V.




Aaron Bell, Superior Judge of the county of Shasta since 1879, came to California in 1852.  He was born in Pennsylvania, December 2, 1832.  His ancestors have resided in America since before the Revolution and were from Scotland.  His grandfather, John Bell, participated in the Revolution on the side of the colonies; served under Benedict Arnold; went with him on his expedition to Quebec, and after the war settled in Ohio where the city of Cincinnati now stands.  Afterward he moved to Pennsylvania and settled on a farm.  Later he was in the mercantile business for some years.  He was a zealous Presbyterian; was married in New Jersey, and has six sons and two daughters.  John Bell, Jr., the fourth child, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and was in the iron foundry business for many years in the State of Pennsylvania.  He married Miss Christiana Evans of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, and with his family settled, in 1855, in El Dorado County.


Judge Bell was the eldest child of their family of six children, four sons and two daughters.  He was educated in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, studied law in a law school there, and after coming to California pursued his studies for several years and was admitted to practice in the old District Court in 1864.  He practiced law in the city of Sacramento for three years, gave United States land law his special attention, and became an expert in that department of law practice.  A United States land office having been established at Shasta, and the officers thereof not understanding their duties very well, had some complications with the department at Washington.  The Judge went to Shasta to assist in straightening out matters.  Becoming favorably impressed with the county, he located there.  He was appointed Register of the Land Office in the place of the register who had resigned.  He served in this capacity until 1879, when he resigned to run for the office of Judge of the Superior Court, having received the nomination from the Republican Party.  The county at that time had a 250 Democratic majority, but Judge Bell was elected by a 600 majority, a very flattering vote.  The duties of the office of Superior Judge were at that time quite onerous, and many times he had to decide cases on which there had been great difference of opinion.  In his first term a most trying and unheard-of case came before him.  The sheriff elect of the county was refused the office by the incumbent on the ground that he had not given the county sufficient bonds.  It was claimed that by the census of 1880 the county had advanced from a county of the third class to that of the second class, and that he should not hold the sheriffalty, as he had not given legal bonds.  The Judge was applied to and the matter duly tried before him;  he gave an order to an officer to seize the books and papers of the office and to take sufficient force to execute the order.  The out-going sheriff, with his men armed with Henry rifles, held the court-house with the door barred on the inside, refused admittance and threatened the officer if he touched the door it would be at the peril of his life.  It took the force of several men to break it in, which they did and seized the books and papers of the office.  The people took sides in the affair and many were very much incensed with the out-going sheriff’s course.  The case was carried to the Supreme Court and the Judge’s action sustained in every particular.


Another very exciting and notable case was that which was held to prevent the removal of the county-seat from Shasta.  When Judge Bell gave his decision in that case the court-house was filled, anvils were fired by citizens of Redding and great excitement prevailed.  The case was taken to the Supreme Court, and after three years’ litigation the case was decided in accordance with Judge Bell’s decision.


It is a matter of record that in eleven years only one case was returned and retried.  His decisions have been made with reference to his duty as a judge of the law, and his legal ability has been most flatteringly sustained, both by the Supreme Court of the State and by his fellow citizens.  At his last election his majority was 700, when the majority of his ticket was only eighty.  During most of his history in California he has been interested in mines and mining.  In 1853 he was a partner with Marshall, and was often with him and his men.  He has a cane made of the head block of Sutter’s Mill where gold was discovered.  Judge Bell and his brother, who is an expert miner, are interested in several valuable mines and also in timbered lands at the base of Mount Shasta.  He is interested in a box, shingle, and lath factory, and in 1889 manufactured over 400,000 raisin boxes.


Judge Bell takes an active part in several of the fraternal societies of the county.  He became an Odd Fellow in 1855;  has been a member of Grand Lodge since 1861, and is a member of the Veteran Association of the State.  He is one of the charter members of Shasta Lodge, A.O.U.W., which started in 1878; and he has been made Grand Commander of the American Legion of Honor of the State for two terms.  His father died in 1862, and his mother is still living, a hale, hearty, old lady of seventy-seven years.  She resides with the Judge and his interesting family in a nice residence in Redding, where he can spend the evening of life, having merited the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens.


He was married in January, 1874, to Miss Julia Fipps, a native of Missouri, and formerly a successful school-teacher in Shasta.  They have had three sons, born in Shasta County, viz.: Jesse, George E., and Harvey.




J. M. Buffington, an old, honored pioneer of the Pacific Coast, and one of the most influential of the early settlers of Stockton was born in Somerset, Bristol County, Massachusetts, February 15, 1818.  Originally of English descent, and in the old Massachusetts colony, his ancestry dates back to the early settlement of Salem, when three brothers – John, Joseph, and Jonathan – immigrated to that place about 1660.  The subject of this sketch attended school in his native State, and at the age of fourteen he took a thorough course in English, mathematics and the Latin classics at the State Normal School of Rhode Island, and after reaching manhood he entered the business of manufacturing boots and shoes at Providence, that State.


On the breaking out of the gold excitement from California, he came hither, by the Isthmus, landing at San Francisco June 13, 1849, from the steamer Oregon, on her second trip.  He joined the throng of miners, and searched for gold over a year, averaging fifteen ounces per day.  Coming then to Stockton, he started a bakery, when flour was $12.50 a barrel; in a few months it advanced to $50 per barrel and bread sold for 32 cents a pound.  But Mr. Buffington was not the man to be limited to an underling’s life.  Being public-spirited, he made his mark in the “city of the plains,” which is yet strikingly visible.  He organized the public schools of Stockton, was elected Superintendent and served as such from their organization until 1853, when he was elected Alderman.  In April, this year, he was elected Mayor of Stockton, and held this office one term of two years.  Being also actively interested in the political interests of the country, he organized the first Republican club and was chosen its first President.  He also served as superintendent of the Sunday-school for several years.


In 1857 he removed to San Francisco, and since then, for over a third of a century, he has been actively engaged in business and prominently identified with commercial and mining interests.  He was elected member of the Board of Education of San Francisco, and served in this position several years.  For a time also he was Registrar of voters, when the enrollment was in the different wards.  In 1884 he changed his residence to Oakland.


He has been prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity for over thirty-six years, having become a member of Morning Star Lodge, in Stockton, in 1854, and he is a Knight Templar and a Thirty-third-degree Mason, Scottish rite.


March 8, 1848, Mr. Buffington married Miss Mary West Eddy, daughter of one of the oldest families of Providence, Rhode Island, and they have had two sons and three daughters.




J. Sovereign, manufacturer of wagons and buggies at Woodland, is the son of Richard and Elizabeth (Plummer) Sovereign.  His father, a native of Pennsylvania, was a carpenter by trade; and his mother was a native of New Jersey.  Mr. Sovereign was born in Canada, in 1833, and in 1845 he went to Illinois and learned his trade;  and in 1860 he came to California and for the first seven years resided in El Dorado County;  in 1867 he moved into Yolo County, where he has ever since remained.  He is following his trade at Woodland, with signal success.  He is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 22, A.O.U.W., and also of the K. of P.


For his wife he married Elizabeth Collins, who was born in Watertown, New York, and they have five children, viz.:  Emma, aged thirty-two, now the wife of John Freeman, and residing in Fresno;  Isabella, aged thirty, is now Mrs. J. H. Martin, of Woodland;  Arthur, aged twenty-eight, a blacksmith of Woodland;  Seth, aged twenty-six years, and Charley, aged twenty-one.




J. W. Osborne, a blacksmith and wheelwright at Sunol, was born near Barrie, Canada, Februaty 22, 1856, where he grew to manhood.  His parents, Edward and Elizabeth (White) Osborne, were both natives of England,  He came from Canada into the United States in 1872, settling first in the State of Nevada, where he learned his trade and remained until 1879.  He next followed his vocation two years in Washington Territory, and then until 1884 in Umatilla County, Oregon; and then about three years in Modoc County, this State.  In 1887, he went to Shasta County for a year, and in the spring of 1889, he finally settled at his present place, where he is prospering in his calling.  He was married at Weston, Oregon, July 31, 1881, to Miss Frances Ferguson, a native of Iowa, and they have three children – Emma J., Eunice J., and William C.




B. G. Perkins, proprietor of the flouring mill at Woodland, is a son of Frederick F. and Eleanor (Lee) Perkins, natives of Connecticut, the father a farmer by occupation.  Mr. Perkins of the sketch was born at Niles, Michigan, in 1846; in 1863 he came to California and was first engaged in keeping books in San Francisco.  In 1871 he started for Lower California with 18,000 head of sheep, but suffered misfortune and got out with 2,500 head, turning them over to creditors.  He returned to his old home in Michigan and there remained until 1888, when he again came to California to prospect for a permanent home.  He finally selected Woodland, in June, 1889, where he has since run the City Mill.  It is owned by the Bank of Woodland;  its capacity is thirty-five barrels a day, the engine being seventy-five horse-power.  The expense of running the mill is $25 a day.  It was built in 1860.


In 1872 Mr. Perkins was united in marriage with Miss Josephine Glover, of Detroit, Michigan.




W. H. Robinson (colored), farmer and teamster at Woodland, is the son of Denis and Mary A. (Winrow) Robinson, natives of Kentucky.  His father was a slave up to the time of his death in 1839, in Ralls County,  Missouri;  his mother died in California, February 17, 1889, at the age of eighty-five years.  She was freed by Robert Briggs, of Ralls County, when W. H. was sixteen years of age.  He was born in the county, March 11, 1835, and was freed at the age of thirty by the emancipation proclamation, up to which time he was owned by John C. Briggs.  He came to California in 1868, landing in San Francisco December 24, having made his journey by sea and the Isthmus.  He was a resident of Buckeye, Yolo County, until 1873, when he went to Woodland, where he now has a nice little home on two acres of land.  He does all kinds of farm work for other parties, having all the varieties of farming implements necessary, and he is well known as an industrious and upright citizen.  He is a member of the Christian Church, as is also his family.  He married, in Ralls County, Missouri, Sarah A. Shields, who was born in Kentucky, and they have two children – Mary A. and Samuel H.




One of the most picturesque and attractive spots in the vicinity of St. Helena is the Villa Miravalle, the delightful country-seat of Tibureio Parrot, Esq., the well-known viticulturist.  Located in a sheltered cone or glen in the Myacamas range of mountains which skirt the western border of the Napa Valley, with full view of the town and only a mile distant from its center, it is led up to by a winding and romantic road and avenue.  The residence is situated at some distance from the county road on an eminence that displays its fine architectural proportions to great advantage.  A rough description may not be out of place.  Including verandas, which are broad and ample, running quite around the house and covered with the finest specimens of sub-tropical plants, the residence has a frontage of eight feet, by a depth of forty-five feet.  It is of two stories, with central tower rising to a height of seventy feet above the ground.   The lower story is of the beautiful white liparite, quarried in the vicinity, and the upper of brick, the whole house finished in hard wood and of a pleasing mediaeval architecture.  From the tower a magnificent view, panoramic almost in scope and variety, is presented, including the whole of St. Helena and all the adjacent portions of the Napa Valley, while the eastern horizon is cut by the green folds of hill and mountain that form the eastern littoral of the valley.  Immediately beneath the eye are the orchards and vineyards of the estate, and beyond these the miles of grapevines, for which the section is noted.  The estate is of 800 acres, and reaches from the valley to the crest of the first range of hills, looking down on the further side upon the famous White Sulphur Springs.  The hillsides, when not cleared and planted to vines, are covered with a thick growth of forest trees – pines, firs, oaks, manzanita, madron, buckeye, etc., proving a fine bed – fields we should rather say – of roses, chrysanthemums and other flowers, for which the Villa Miravalle has won a name.  Mr. Parrott is doing a work of more than individual benefit upon his place.  He was the first to make a serious attempt to raise olives at St. Helena.  He has a fine appearing plantation of 5,000 trees, now between six and seven years old, and some loaded with fruit when seen.  They seem to prove the perfect adaptation of the valley for olive culture and present a timely alternative to the vine-growers of the section, wearied out as they are by depression and ruinous prices.  Mr. Parrott has 125 acres of vineyard, all of the better foreign varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, from which is made the Chateau-Margaux and Chateau Lafite wines, so dear to connoisseurs.  The vineyard is all mountain-hill land, thus receiving perfect drainage, and the best results.  So far, the wine cellar is the cellar of the house, and a visit to it and a sampling of its contents shows the value of the vineyard as well as the knowledge and experience of its master.  The wines were perfect, each in its kind.  A cellar of a larger size is now being constructed, tunnels being run into the hillside to afford finer storage.  A small plot of vigorous and healthy tobacco plants, of seed brought from Havana, was seen, which will probably prove still another resource of this very fertile section.  Amidst the other trees and plants were noticed specimens of palms, palmettos, banana, persimmons, guavas, oranges, lemons, almonds, walnuts and other sub-tropical growths, all thrifty and luxuriant at time of visit (December) and showing that the villa is in the thermal belt and above the frosts.  Water in abundance is piped direct from springs on the mountain side to house and grounds.  This beautiful place is the out come of only five years’ work upon its improvement, being begun only in January, 1885.  Its beauty and the wholesome luxuriance of every plant and tree are better than many volumes to prove the possibility of the section.  The Villa Miravalle justly ranks as one of the finest residences in the Napa Valley.




Charles Samuel Cousins, Recorder of Contra Costa County, was born in Clinton County, New York, December 14, 1830, of ancestry traceable on the paternal side back to the Norman French.  His father, John Cousins, was a native of Yorkshire, England, and educated for a branch of the government service; but instead of entering that he went into mercantile business in London, and was successful on a large scale until his managers of a branch house, by ill-advised measures, broke him up.  After that he emigrated to the United States, locating in Clinton County, New York, where he resided some years engaged in agricultural pursuits.  In 1840 he removed to Chataugay, Canada, where he spent the remainder of his days.  The lady whom he married was Elizabeth Harrison, a native of Yorkshire, England, and died April 19, 1846.  Of her eight children, six were born in London; and of the four now living, the subject of this sketch is the only one residing in California.


In 1840 or 1841 Thomas Cousins, brother of John, with his family of nine children, emigrated to America, by way of the St. Lawrence River;  and while ascending that stream on board a steamer the works exploded and all the family were lost excepting the wife, who was saved as if by miracle!  She was thrown high into the air and fell upon one of her own featherbeds!  From the wreck she was taken to the residence of a gentleman named Pennyman, where she remained a resident until she died, at a very advanced age.  Mr. Pennyman esteemed her so highly that he gave her a home, rather than that she should go elsewhere.  This was at Lachine, in the province of Quebec, nine miles above Montreal.


At the age of seventeen years the subject of this sketch struck out into the world for himself, as his mother had died and the family was broken up.  At Rouse’s Point, at the foot of Lake Champlain, in his native county, he was employed as a clerk in a store for a time;  then, more for the purpose of education, than anything else, he took up the study of law; but, his taste for it increasing, he concluded to complete the course.  Just before the required three years were expired, however, Mr. Cousins won a case in justice court, upon which his preceptor has also been employed, C. B. Wright, and this incensed him so that he would not want to give a certificate of time to Mr. Cousins, and the result was that the latter peremptorily and forever quit both his preceptor and the law.


Next, until 1854, Mr. Cousins was road or mail agent on the Northern New York Railroad from Rouse’s Point to Ogdensburg;  then he was engaged in the civil-engineering department of the Chicago & Milwaukee Railroad at Chicago;  the line was completed to Waukegan January 1, 1855, and work in his line was suspended.  He opened the railroad station at Waukegan, returned to Chicago and took charge of the freight and ticket department, and was also auditor for the company.  He inaugurated the entire office business of operating the road, drafted all the blanks and books of the road and put everything in shape for running.  He was also paymaster for the company, and on one occasion when he was upon a car in transit from one gang of men to another in a narrow cut, he came near being killed by a collision.  He and his party barely had time to stop their car and turn it bodily off the track.



The onerous duties of his manifold situation at length began to affect his health.  Young as he was, every dollar in the business of the road passed through his hands, and every item checked on the several books and report blanks;  and he also had the supervision of all the reports of the station agents, conductors, etc.  One night his nervous system had been under so intense a strain, while he was sitting in his chair attending to business, that he fainted and fell to the floor.  Therefore, late in the year 1857, after three years’ service, he was compelled to resign, although offered the position of assistant superintendent.  He took a position as bookkeeper in a large country store, where he had easy duties and a larger liberty, remaining there until December, 1859, when he came to California and immediately located in Contra Costa County, with his wife’s relatives.  His first position here was as clerk in the Golden Eagle Hotel at Sacramento during the exciting times of building the Central Pacific Railroad and the inauguration of the “pony express” system.  In June, 1861, he became clerk in the United States Mint at San Francisco, and while in that position he obtained leave of absence and went to Gold Hill, Nevada, to settle up the estate of a widow.  The “Plato mine,” under his management as a part of the estate, paid a larger dividend than any other mine in that State.  In 1864-1865 he held a more responsible position at the mint;  then he was appointed assistant melter and refiner in the institution, and given the entire management of the department.  In 1869 he resigned to engage in real estate in that city.


In 1870 he came to Pinole, Contra Costa County, and engaged in farming;  and while there he fell from a load of hay and broke the muscles of his hip so seriously that he can never fully recover.  In the fall of 1882 he was elected County Recorder, on the Republican ticket, and took charge of the office the following January; and by re-election he has ever since held the office.  At each election his majority is greater than at the preceding election.


Mr. Cousins was first married in December, 1856, at Waukegan, Illinois, while he was in the service of the railroad there, to Miss Sarah C. Denio, of New York State, who died in 1865, in Martinez, California;  and subsequently Mr. Cousins married Kate T., daughter of the late Dr. Samuel J. Tennent, of Martinez, and a relative of the Martinez family, one of the oldest in this section.  May 15, 1889, on a leave of absence, Mr. and Mrs. Cousins made a trip to the East, visiting old friends, who were greatly rejoiced to see them.  Arriving at Chicago he could not resist the temptation to take a ride over the old Chicago & Milwaukee Railroad, whereon he had labored so assiduously for years, and peculiar were the sensations awakened by the occasional sight of something familiar amid the multitude of changes that had taken place since that time.




John H. Eaton, a Woodland merchant, who died at his residence in the city January 2, 1890, was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, October 2, 1807, and removed with his parents in 1810 to Middle Tennessee.  At the age of twenty-two years he left his parental home and went to Indiana, where he was married, September 27, 1829, to Miss Rebecca A. Simpson, a native of North Carolina, who now survives him.  Crossing the plains to this State in 1849, he followed mining at Bidwell’s Bar, on the Feather River, but the next year he returned to Missouri, where he remained until 1862, engaged in mechanical and mercantile pursuits.  He then came to Nevada, where he engaged in farming until 1868, and then came on again to California and soon commenced mercantile business at Woodland, as a member of the firm of Eaton, Green, & Co.  Theirs was the first exclusive grocery house in the place.  Their next firm name was Eaton, Lawson & Co., and in November, 1879, it became Eaton & Son, the present style.


Mr. Eaton was religiously inclined from boyhood.  At the age of fourteen he joined the Baptist Church, but during life changed his views somewhat and united with the Christian Church, in which he remained during the remainder of his life.  He was very zealous in the propagation of the cardinal principles of Christianity.  He emphasized the scriptural idea that there is but “one baptism,” while the churches of modern times generally have several modes of baptism, or doors into the church.


Seven of his eleven children survive, namely:  Mrs. G. W. Green and A. M. Eaton, of Woodland;  J. L. Eaton, of Lake County;  G. M. Eaton of Irvington, Alameda County;  Mrs. J. E. Woods, of San Francisco;  T. F. Eaton, of Dighton, Kansas; and Mrs. Dr. D. A. Bryant, of Jackson County, Missouri.


A. M. Eaton, the surviving partner in the firm of J. H. Eaton & Son, was born in Jackson County, Missouri, in May, 1852, where he remained until he came to Nevada and California.  He completed his education at the Hesperian College in Woodland.  In 1869 he became a partner with his father in the grocery business, when the firm style became J. H. Eaton & Son, under which name the business was carried on until July, 1890, at which time A. M. Eaton purchased the other interest and now conducts the business in his own name, carrying a full stock of everything in the line of a well-furnished grocery house.  Mr. Eaton deals largely in grain, hay, wood, nursery stock, etc.  He is yet unmarried, making his home with his mother, who is now seventy-eight years of age.





A. J. Hull, attorney at law, has resided in California and Napa since 1874.  Born in Johnson County, Indiana, in 1846, he was kept busy clearing up his father’s and other farms by contract from the time he could set fire to a brush-heap or carry the lunch to the older workers.  There were no public schools in that section until 1853;  the family was large and it required the united efforts of the twelve children and the parents to wrest a livelihood from the most unbroken country up to the fifties.  In 1857 the family removed to Illinois, where he lived until he enlisted as a private soldier in Battery H, Second Illinois Light Artillery, at the age of fifteen years.  His command served under General Grant until after the fall of Island No. 10, and were then transferred to the Army of the Tennessee Fourteenth Army Corps, until after the occupation of Atlanta.  The battery was again transferred to the Twentieth Corps, and was with General Thomas during the campaign against Hood, and remained with that army until the close of  the war. He was mustered out with his command August 7, 1865, at Springfield, Illinois, at that time until in his nineteenth year, after serving almost four years, having re-enlisted as a veteran, March 4, 1864.


Mr. Hull had three brothers and one brother-in-law in the service. While in the army Mr. Hull had spent all his leisure moments in study, beginning with the primary branches, and finally becoming proficient in mathematics, geography and history. He had the good fortune during his term of  service to have a comrade who was a graduate of one of the Philadelphia Colleges, and who took an interest in and guided him in his studies, and stimulated him continually to further advancement. Immediately on his discharge Mr. Hull engaged in farm work for the purpose of continuing his education, and during a six months' course he paid for his own tuition by taking charge of the higher classes in mathematics. After this course he passed an examination and received a certificate as a teacher, but it being the spring season and no schools open he returned to farm work until the fall. Then he passed a second examination, and taught his first school in a district adjoining the one where he grew up. Returning to Illinois he entered the Salem Methodist College, and by alternately studying and teaching school, or, failing to get a school, by labor at any work to be had,  splitting rails, digging wells, working on the railroad, etc., he managed to acquire a liberal education, finally graduating in the law department of the Iowa State University in 1873, and was thereupon admitted to the bar of the courts of that State. He then returned to Illinois, and by working and teaching school accumulated money enough to pay up all his indebtedness, and bring him to California. He taught school in Napa County for a time and then commenced the practice of the law in which he has since continued. He was for some time in partnership with Judge Crouch, now Superior  Judge, later with R. Burwell, and then for two years with Judge Ham; but for the past three years he has been alone in business. His parents were Andrew P. and Jane (McGuire) Hull, his father being of English and his mother of  Irish descent.


He was married in 1874 to Miss Lottie J. Waite, of Shoreham, Vermont. They  had three children: Lottie M., Pliny R. and Junie W. Mrs. Hull, his first wife, having died, ho was again married, September 7, 1889,

to Miss May E. Stockley, a native of California. 


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

Transcribed by Marianne, September 2008 - Pages 880-408


Site Created: 6 October 2008

Martha A Crosley Graham

Rights Reserved: 2008