History of Northern California

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FRANK W. GIBSON, a native of England, was born near London, May 28, 1846.  In 1849 his parents came to the United States.  They landed at New Orleans, and immediately started up the Mississippi River for Illinois.  In 1850 they removed to Quincy, where Mr. Gibson started the Quincy Whig, which was afterward the first newspaper in Illinois to unfurl the Republican banner.  In 1855 he went to Fontenelle, Nebraska, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits.  In 1856-’57 he represented his district in the State Legislature.  In 1859 he crossed the plains to Denver, Colorado, where he established the Rocky Mountain News, the first newspaper published in that place.  He afterward published the Commonwealth and Republican, and other papers in different points of the State.  In 1886 he removed to California, and settled in Los Gatos, where he now resides.

Frank W., the subject of this sketch, received his education in the public schools and in the Denmark Academy, at Denmark, and located in Lee County, Iowa.  In 1868 he went to Fremont, Nebraska, where he engaged in the book and stationery business for a little more than a year.  He then sold out his business, and went to northern Nebraska, where he engaged in general merchandise for one year.  In 1870 he came to San Francisco, California, where he joined an expedition to Victoria, British Columbia, which was then being organized in consequence of the Jim Creek and Peace River gold excitement.  From Victoria he went on to the interior of Alaska, where he mined for six months.  On his return, in 1871, he stopped at Seattle, and from here he traveled overland through Washington and Oregon to San Francisco.  In 1872 he went to Colorado, where he took a contract of twenty-seven miles on the Colorado Central Railroad, with two of his brothers.  From there he returned to Nebraska, and engaged in the paint, oil and glass business, in Fremont, until 1880; then engaged in the grocery business until 1882; then in building and renting houses until 1887.  In that year he returned to California with his wife, and they traveled over the State in search of a location, returning to Nebraska in the fall.  In 1888 they removed to Lake County, California where they located permanently.  He has 440 acres of land, a half mile south of west of Lakeport, on which he has a fine residence and barn; 120 acres are under cultivation, and the whole under fence.  He has about fifteen acres planted in fruit trees and vines.  Water for domestic use and stock is brought through pipes from a clear cool spring in the mountains.  A portion of Mr. Gibson’s land lies adjoining the corporate limits of Lakeport, which he has subdivided into town lots, and which he offers for sale at a remarkably low figure.  Mr. Gibson has adopted a novel feature in the sale of his residence lots, which consists of giving one lot to any party building on the same and selling them the adjoining lot at a low price if he want to buy, making a nice home for little money.  Mr. Gibson also owns 440 acres of land in Pierce County, Nebraska, adjoining the town of Pierce, the county-seat of Pierce County.  A portion of this land is also within the city limits and is also laid out in town lots, and given away and sold the same as the above.  He has fine business lots in the most desirable part of the city, and some fine lots in the heart of the city of Fremont, Nebraska, the county-seat of Lodge County, which he will sell on easy terms.

 Mr. Gibson has very appropriately named his beautiful property in Lake County, “Glenwood Ranch, “ with his beautiful addition to Lakeport as Glenwood Place.  He has published a fine folder with maps, with the ranch subdivided showing the locality and giving the practical points of the county.  Mr. Gibson has now a nice cannery on the ranch, known as the Lakeport Canning Company, canning all kinds of fruit, and making a specialty of canning figs, something new for California, and his best brand, known as his Glenwood Ranch brand, one can always depend on being straight goods.

 He was married in 1873 to Miss Helen Lewis, a daughter of Daniel and Catherine (Conrad) Lewis.  They have two children: Birdie and Cora, both attending school in Lakeport.  He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and has filled all the chairs in the subordinate, and taken all the degrees in the encampment and canton.

 ELIJAH D. HAM, attorney at law, has resided in California for sixteen years and for the past nine years in Napa.  He was born in Talladega County, Alabama, in 1840.  His parents were James T. and Elizabeth (Whaley) Ham, his father a native of Petersburg, Virginia, and his mother of Walker County, Georgia.  They removed while he was a child to Bedford County, Tennessee, where they lived until he reached the age of fifteen years, and then to Washington County, Arkansas.  His father, who was a Union man, died during the war from the effects of exposure incurred in the cold winter of 1863, his feet being frozen while lying out to avoid the Confederate troops, he then having three sons in the Union service.  Judge Ham received his education in Tennessee, and later in the Arkansas College at Fayetteville, where he took the usual course.  He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and was fairly launched in his profession in Huntsville, Arkansas, when the war broke out.  He with other Union men was obliged to leave home and live in the mountains to avoid being either conscripted by the Confederate forces or hanged as a Union sympathizer.  Early in 1862 he escaped into Missouri and joined Bowen’s Battalion, attached to the headquarters of General Curtis.  He was immediately detailed as a messenger and scout, carrying dispatches from one command to another; a service for which he was well fitted, owning to his thorough familiarity with the country and the mountains.  He was soon appointed Chief of Scouts, with the rank and pay of a Captain of cavalry, and held this important post under Generals Brown, Totten and Schofield, with headquarters at Springfield, Missouri.  He continued in this position until February, 1862, when he was commissioned Major of the First Arkansas Infantry Volunteers, serving in that capacity until the close of the war, and participating in all the battles of southwestern Missouri and northern Arkansas, including Pea Ridge, Cotton Plant, Prairie Grove and Fayetteville.  This last was especially noted as a fight between Arkansas Union men on one side and Confederate forces on the other, and resulted in driving the Confederate forces from their section of the country.  About this time he was appointed by President Lincoln United States District Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, which embraced the eleven western counties of Arkansas, as well as the whole Indian Territory.  He held this office until 1868, and was then appointed by Governor Clayton, Circuit Judge at Fayetteville.  He resigned this position in 1874, when he came to California, where he settled in Santa Rosa, and engaged in the practice of law until 1879, when he spent one year in Portland, Oregon.  Returning to California he settled in Napa, resuming his practice, which he has continued since that time.  He was married in Arkansas, in 1857.  His wife’s health requiring a change of climate, he took her to Denver, Colorado, where she died, after a residence of about nine months.  Some thirteen years ago he married Miss Julia Conn, a daughter of Dr. Conn.  There are three children: Ross, the wife of W. W. Wright, cashier of Hot Springs (Arkansas) Savings Bank and Treasurer of the city of that name; Lucie, the wife of L. W. Gregg, attorney at law at Fayetteville, Arkansas, son of Judge Gregg, formerly Chancellor and one of the Judges of the Supreme Court; and Kate, at the present time visiting in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Judge Ham is a member of Yount Lodge, No. 12, F. & A. M., and of Kit Carson Post, No. 74, G. A. R.


SAMUEL R. RHODES, dentist, has been a resident of California for about thirty-five years.  His parents, Judge A. L. Rhodes and Elizabeth (Cavins) Rhodes, came from Indiana in 1854.  His father had occupied a prominent position in the legal and political history of the development of California.  He represented the Santa Clara Senatorial District about the time of the breaking out of the Rebellion, was one of the Justices of the Supreme Court for a period of sixteen years, and was for two years of that time Chief Justice. He is now practicing law in San Francisco, and residing in San Jose.  Dr. Rhodes received his primary education in the Gates’ Institute of San Jose, attended for three years Santa Clara College, and was graduated at the University of California, at Berkeley, in 1875.  For some four years he underwent a process of preparation for his life-work by engaging in numerous branches of business, as journalist, merchant, clerk in a stock-broker’s office, then undertaking the studying of medicine, and finally drifting into dentistry, which he decided to make his profession, and which he has studied and practiced ever since.  He practiced for about two years in Havana, Cuba; then returning to the United States he settled in San Jose, where he remained for about a year and a half, and then removed to Napa, where he has since devoted himself to his profession.   He was married in 1879, to Miss Josephine Brito, a native of New York.  Her father, Dr. Brito, a native of the Island of Cuba, was a naturalized American citizen.  He was accustomed to practice dentistry there during the winter and in New York during the summer seasons.  He died six years ago.

 CHARLES E. GREENE, deceased, formerly a prominent farmer of Yolo County, was born in Shelburne, Vermont, May 24, 1825, his parents being Rufus and Betsey (Weed) Greene.  His ancestry is traceable to the De Gras family of France, and later to the family in Rhode Island named Greene, with whom the famous Revolutionary General Nathaniel Greene was connected.  When the subject of this sketch was twelve years of age his parents removed to Hopkinton, New York, resided there seven years, where Charles attended the Hopkinton Academy, and then removed to South port (now Kenosha), Wisconsin.  There Mr. Greene taught school awhile and then clerked in a drug store of his brother, Pliny P., a practicing physician.  March 13, 1849, he started for California with an ox team, and arrived in Sacramento, October 13, after a comparatively pleasant trip.

 Upon his arrival in California, Mr. Greene engaged in mining for a time, with success; then he was in the mercantile business, in partnership with Mr. Hutchinson, in Sacramento, on J street, where the old Fountain House now stands, until 1852; and while there the firm was obliged to take some land in Yolo County in security for a debt, and Mr. Greene took charge of it.  It was twelve miles from Woodland and known as the “Big Ranch.”  The grant title was proven fraudulent, after expensive litigation in the courts.  This, with other things, caused Mr. Greene to lose all that he had saved.  He lived there, however, until 1860, when he moved upon the place where his widow now resides.  After located there he had many discouraging failures, but fortune at length crowned his efforts, and at the time of his death, in July, 1886, he had one of the most productive farms in Yolo County. It is situated five miles north and east of Davisville, and contains 1,280 acres, all enclosed.  It is the best of white land; and here the widow and two of the children reside, continuing in agricultural pursuits.

 Mr. Greene was a settled Republican and a public-spirited and exemplary citizen.  In July, 1855, he married Miss Bertha L. Bennett, of Sacramento.  She was a native of Muscatine, Iowa, and a daughter of Milo and Mary J. (Gibson) Bennett, the father a native of Vermont and the mother of New Hampshire. Mr. Bennett crossed the plains with his family to Sacramento in 1851, principally for the sake of his health; but he died the next year.  Mrs. Greene has had three children: the eldest, Kate A., who is now Mrs. B. B. Tuttle, of Portland, Oregon; Ella A. and Charles E. Jr.

 Mrs. Greene relates the following encounter with Indians while crossing the plains in 1851:

 “When we left Council Bluffs, our company numbered about sixty persons, all expecting to go to Oregon, but before reaching the junction of the California and Oregon roads, my father with some others decided to go to California.  Our division consisted of ten men, two women and seven children, separating from the main company, taking our way toward California. Occasionally we were visited by Indians in small numbers, and while we treated them kindly always refused their request for ammunition, which they seemed anxious to have.  A few days after one of these visits we had some cattle shot, but as they were not greatly injured we did not leave them.  They may have angered the Indians, for we began to notice signal fires in all directions.  Arriving at the Humboldt River, where water and grass was plentiful, we concluded to rest for a few days, but on a second consideration we thought it prudent to try and overtake a company who were only two days in advance of us.  The signal fires increased in numbers, making us feel that danger threatened.

 “At the close of the second day we reached a place called Stony Point, and as usual one of our number was sent forward to choose our camping grounds; my sister and myself accompanying him to the place selected, we went down to the river to get a drink and wash our faces.  The gentleman with us stooped down to get some water and was in the act of putting it to his lips when he discovered an Indian on the opposite bank just raising his gun.  Simultaneously a report sounded from both sides, and our escort called to us to run as the Indians were upon us.  This we did crying ‘Indians!’ ‘Indians!’ at every step.  Our cry was heard just as the wagons were forming the camp.  Immediately our captain ordered a retreat from the willows, and we barely reached a place where the Indians could not fire on us from ambush, when we were surrounded by between seventy-five and 100 yelling, dancing Indians.  The wounded man had managed to reach the camp in a short time; two others were disabled, thus reducing our defenders to seven men.  We made breastworks of bed and pillows, thus affording a slight protection from which our men could return the fire of the enemy.

 “The sun went down on a seemingly doomed company, surrounded by overwhelming numbers.  Our death, or, worse, our capture, seemed inevitable.  Within our camp there was a deathlike stillness, each one realizing that the next moment might be our last on earth.  The firing from both sides continued until midnight, when we could see that some sort of a council was being held.  We were not left long in suspense as to their intentions, for suddenly the sky grew red and we were inclosed in a wall of fire.  The grass was about eighteen inches high and very dry, and as we saw the flames advancing toward us we felt that there was no longer any hope.  Surely God was our defense; for when the fire had reached within twenty yards of the camp it went out.  They did not dare relight it, as any attempt to do so would have brought them within range of our guns; so they continued shooting at us until about eight o’clock the next morning.  Then, seemingly discouraged, they disappeared.  After a consultation among our company it was deemed advisable to proceed, but as the traveled road was for the greater part of the way among the willows we decided to abandon that, taking our way across the hills with only the sun for our guide.  Each man carried his gun in one hand, a whip in the other, the women and children always carrying weapons.  The wisdom of our course was soon manifest, for the Indians once more swarmed from their hiding places and commenced firing upon us.

 “For three days and nights we were without water, excepting such as we found in the stagnant pools and this so foul that we could only drink it with vinegar or make it into coffee.  The stock was watered by women and children passing buckets from hand to hand, while every man with gun in hand stood ready to fire in case of emergency.  For a week we dared not stop to rest, making a fire once a day, and then only enough to make our coffee, lest the smoke should reveal us to the enemy.  Day and night we journeyed on until it seemed as though death was better than the terrible suspense.  Gradually our fears lessened, though it was weary traveling.  As my father had lost all his stock, and only by dividing the teams belonging to others were we enabled to bring one wagon, which contained all we possessed in the world.  After met a company of prospectors from California we felt comparatively safe, experiencing no farther trouble from the enemy”.


JONATHAN C. TYLER, prominent among the old and respected pioneers of California, was born in Pigeon Prairie, Michigan, January 11, 1830, the son of Isaac and Eleanor (Knapp) Tyler.  His father was a native of Massachusetts, and his ancestors were of English origin.  His mother was born in Canada, and her ancestors on the paternal side were English, and on the maternal side of German extraction.

 Our subject was reared and schooled in his native State until eighteen years of age, when he concluded to battle with the world on his own account.  On leaving the home of his childhood he proceeded to Cincinnati, Ohio, and from there down the river to Gaines’ Landing, Arkansas, then to New Orleans, intending to come to California by water; but on his arrival in that city he found no regular vessels were sailing from that port to the Golden State; and the cholera was at that time raging fiercely as an epidemic.  He remained but ten days in the Crescent City, when he returned North to St. Louis, thence to Beardstown, Illinois, where he engaged in farming for a time.

 In 1849 he crossed the plains by ox teams, arriving the following year at Hangtown.  He became engaged in mining at various camps, his first experience being on Weber Creek, then Nevada City, Grass Valley and Boston Ravine, occupying his time in those camps the first year.  Later he visited Feather River and Spanish Ranch, remaining in the latter camp some four weeks.  Thence he went to what was known as Rich Bar, on Feather River, remaining there a few months.  He next visited the Wyandot diggings, and from there he next went to Shasta County, where he built the old Eagle Hotel.  In the fall of the same year, 1853, he came to his present place and purchased 600 acres of land, and from this period he has followed the life of a practical farmer.  In 1856 he purchased a portion of the Spanish grant then owned by Robert Thombs, this being the first purchase of Spanish grant land made in the State of California.  His present farm consists of 2,000 acres, located two miles north of the flourishing and prosperous town of Tehama, and is a portion of the Thombs and of the old Sicard grants, all under full cultivation and used for grain-growing and stock-raising.

 Mr. Tyler and Miss Mary Dement, a native of Iowa, who crossed the plains in 1853, were the first white couple married in Red Bluff, the marriage taking place March 10, 1854.  They five children living: George A., John W., Ulysses B., Sierra Nevada and Mary E.  Mr. Tyler is politically a Republican, and takes an active part in politics.  He also affiliates with the F. & A. M. of Molino Lodge, No. 150, of Tehama; also Commandery No. 17, K. T., of Red Bluff.  Of this commandery Mr. Tyler was one of the founders.


FRED MICHAELSON is one of the many reliable and enterprising citizens that Germany has furnished the United States.  He was born in Holstein, Germany, August 23, 1830, the son of German parents.  His father, John Henry Michaelson, was a saddler and leather tanner.  The family were Lutherans.  The subject of this sketch received his education in his native land, and there learned the trades of miller and carpenter.  He was a soldier in the Schleswig-Holstein army, and served in the war against Denmark in 1849.  In the battle of Idstad he received a wound on his thigh, which made him a partial cripple for life.  He came to America and to Illinois in 1856, and, notwithstanding his lameness, he worked on farms and in loading cars until the spring of 1859.  At that time he came to California.  In Shasta County he worked both at mining and at the dairy business.  At first he was employed by James Wolf.  Later, he purchased an interest in a fruit and vegetable store, and kept it two years.  Then he formed a partnership with Frank Litsch and engaged in the general merchandise business, continuing it until the fall of 1869.  In that year Mr. Michaelson purchased a store in Lewiston, Trinity County.  Three years later he sold out, and engaged with Mr. Reid in 1872, in the production of Angora goats.  That business they followed twelve years, having as many as 1,500 goats at one time, and receiving as high as eighty-seven and a half cents per pound for the mohair.  The price went down, however, until it reached thirty-four cents per pound, when they sold out, getting $2,200 for 1,100 goats.  Mr. Michaelson has 200 acres of land, on which he is raising hay and vegetables.  He has dealt considerably in the city real estate in Redding, has loaned money and built a number of houses.  He is president of the building association that erected the fine I.O.O.F. block, and is a stockholder in the building.

 Mr. Michaelson has been a member of the I.O.O.F. for twenty-four years, has passed all the chairs of the order and has taken much interest in the society.  He is an intelligent Republican, a kind-hearted man, and is ever ready to do all in his power for the advancement of the best interests of the county.

 CHRIS SIEBER, proprietor of the Pacific House at Woodland, is an example of those who came from a foreign land to young America and have attained affluence under our benign institutions.  He was born January 29, 1847, in Germany, in the Kingdom of Wirtemberg, a son of Ludwick and Rosa (Linck) Sieber.  His father, a farmer, came to America and to California in 1886, and died the next year, in Woodland, at the age of sixty-seven years.  The subject of this biographical mention remained at home on the farm until he was fifteen years of age, when he commenced to learn the tinsmith trade.  After completing that he sailed from Liverpool to New York city, where he remained a year working at his trade.  In 1866 he came by the Nicaragua route to California, worked a year in his vocation at Sacramento, and then two years at the same in Woodland, when he engaged in a bakery and saloon, which he ran successfully for three years.  He then disposed of his bakery and continued the saloon until 1881, when he purchased the Tackney House. He afterwards changed its name to the Pacific House, under which name he is now running it, with magnificent success.  He is also interested in the Woodland brewery, the electric light system of the city, the Woodland street railway and various other enterprises.  He was elected in 1878 a member of the City Council, and he served also as City Treasurer two years.  He is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 111, I.O.O.F., and also of the O.C.F.

 He was married in 1874 to Miss Frederica Buod, a native of Germany, and their children are Frieda, Christ, Louie, Elsie and Bertha.


J. C. WEINBERGER, deceased.- One of the most complete and conveniently arranged wineries and wine cellars in the vicinity of St. Helena was found to be that erected a short distance north of the town by the late J. C. Weinberger, and now carried on by his widow, under the management and superintendence of Captain C. T. McEachran, her brother-in-law.  The buildings are of the fine, light-colored sandstone of the valley, are tow stories in height and about 80x100 feet in size, presenting a fine appearance from the road.  The vineyard is 100 acres of the most approved varieties of wine grapes, and present a very fine, clear and thrifty appearance.  They are about half and half on hill bottom land.  The annual make of wines is about 100,000 gallons, chiefly dry wines, while in the distillery, which is conducted in connection with the winery, about 5,000 gallons of brandy are made.  In order to make so large a production, large quantities of grapes are purchased from growers in the valley, in addition to those grown in the vineyard.  On the property is also a fine-appearing orchard of some 300 trees, comprising, pear, fig, etc.  From ten to twenty men are employed according to the season.  The wines of this cellar are noted for their high merit, and are chiefly taken as fast as they become aged by regular customers in New York, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Texas and other Eastern points, being in constant demand.  The greatest possible care is taken in every process connected with the manufacture of wine, each step being in the hands of experienced men, the uniform excellence of the product being no doubt due to this fact.

We copy herewith entire the sketch of the life of Mr. Weinberger that appears in the history of Napa County:

 "Mr. Weinberger was born in Weissenburg, Bavaria, July 13, 1830, and is the son of Christian and Madeline (Rebesberger) Weinberger.  He resided at his birthplace until 1848, during which time he was

 Educated at the common schools.  At the age of fourteen he began the confectionery trade, which he followed until March 1848.  He then came to America, landing in New York the latter part of May.  He remained there and worked at his trade until 1853, when he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he worked but a few months only, when he went to Indianapolis and began business on his own capital.  He remained there until 1865.  He then purchased a farm, in connection with W. H. Ragan, and began the fruit and nursery business, which he followed until 1870.  In 1869 he paid California a visit, and was so pleased with the country that he returned to Indiana in 1870, and settled up his affairs, and came back to California to make his permanent residence.  He came to Napa Valley, and located at his present place, a short distance above St. Helena, and has since paid his entire attention to the manufacture of wine.  He is an active member of the St. Helena Viticultural Society.

 He was married January 27, 1860, to Miss Anna Von Dokkun, of Cincinnati, who was born in Paris France, November 5, 1838.  By this union there is one daughter, Minnie, born December 27, 1861.  Mrs. Weinberger died in 1866.  He married, secondly, Miss Hannah E. Rabbe, a native of New Albany, Indiana, born October 7, 1840.  They have had children as follows: Emily D., born January 23, 1875, is deceased; Hannah, born June 7, 1876; Marie, born July 4, 1878, is deceased; and John C., born March 4, 1881.

 Mr. Weinberger died in March, 1882, being foully shot down without provocation by a miscreant.  His death was felt to be a public misfortune, for although quiet, unostentatious and modest, there were few indeed more generally beloved by the community.  He was public-spirited, energetic and enterprising, very thorough in all his dealings and aided much in every good work.  He was the first to erect a stone wine cellar in the valley, a portion of which was completed in 1876, all his investments being made with an eye to the future.  The business, since his death, has been carried on by Mrs. Weinberger, as her husband would have expected, and she has met continued and satisfactory success as a consequence.  She still resides in the handsome residence, surrounded by well-kept grounds, erected by her late husband.  He was a prominent member of the Masonic order, being a Royal Arch Mason.  He was a stockholder in the Warehouse Association of St. Helena.

 Miss Minnie Weinberger is now the wife of Mr. Zierngibl, the manager of W. B. Bourn’s great wine cellar, married in 1885.


CAPTAIN C. T. McEACHRAN.-In addition to superintend ending the business of his sister-in-law, Mrs. J. C. Weinberger, Captain McEachran owns and conducts an extensive establishment on the eastern side of the valley.  Here he has a fine wine cellar, 100x100 feet in size and an extensive and well-cared-for vineyard.  The grapes are hauled to the Weinberger cellar and there made into wine, the cellar on Captain McEachran’s place being used for the storage of old wines.  Upon his place he also raises stock and animals of various kinds and carries on general farming.  He has had a life of more than usual variety and interest, containing, too, a lesson to those who have ambition, as showing what may be accomplished by energy, rectitude and perseverance.  Captain McEachran is of Scotch birth, being born in 1824, in the city of Greenock.  A short time later the family removed to Edinburg, where he resided until 1831, when he was brought to America by his parents.  He was brought up and received his education for the most part in the State of New York, but, manifesting a love for a sailor’s life, he went to sea being engaged in different capacities on the great lakes and elsewhere, the latter part of the time being in command as master of the vessel.  Later on the Captain engaged in trade, being in the ship-chandler business in Chicago in 1854, in partnership with others, and afterward in other lines.  Finally, in 1858, he came to California and immediately went to the mines in Tuolumne County, remaining there with varying success for three years.  He then went to Arizona, Idaho, Virginia City, and elsewhere, and having accumulated a little money determined to quit mining and settle down.  Accordingly he came to the Napa Valley in 1870, began wine-making and has been engaged it  ever since, having now the reputation of being one of the best and most experienced wine men in the county.  He has made his way from the start almost without assistance, owning all his success to his quick brain and ready hands, coupled with intelligent foresight and attention to business.

 Captain McEachran is a Republican in politics, but never a politician.  In private life he is universally respected and esteemed, those who know him best thinking most highly of him.  He is a member of the Odd Fellows order, having held the high honor of being the Grand Master of the order in 1887-”87.


JOSEPH MECKLENBURG is the pioneer milling man of Napa County, and a gentleman of experience, well posted in regard to the history of the county, and one who is well regarded and popular in the county, being now the Roadmaster of his district.  Mr. Mecklenburg was born in Germany, in 1825.  In 1842, when a lad of seventeen years of age, he came to America, and at Toledo, Ohio, learned the milling business, following it later at Ft. Wayne, Indiana, for five years.  After that he was engaged in his business in Illinois, having married, in Michigan, Miss E. Hamilton, a native of New York State.  Her mother, born in Connecticut, is still alive, at a very old age.  She draws a pension as the widow of Bemis Hamilton, a soldier in the war of 1812.  In 1852 Mr. Mecklenburg and family crossed the plains to California, and spent two years at Sacramento, San Francisco and Davisville, running flouring mills for Wilson and Conroe & Co. at the former cities, and for Jerome C. Davis at the latter place.  In the fall of 1854 he removed to Napa County, with which he has since been prominently identified.  He first started a mill at Yountville, for Mr. Yount, and ran it for a year and a half.  He then went to the mines in El Dorado County, spending a year at that business.  He then returned to Yountville, and for a year longer carried on the mill at that point.  In 1858 Mr. Mecklenburg took the mill on the Bale place, where W. W. Lyman now lives, carrying it on for a year, later on again returning to Yountville, spending in all about five years at that point, between the years 1854 and 1864.  Later, in partnership with Mr. Lyman, he carried on the Turbine mill at the Lyman place, until the extension of the grape business in the valley made it unprofitable.  For twelve years, from 1865 to 1876, inclusive, Mr. Mecklenburg was a Supervisor of Napa County, and was one of the most active promoters of its interests.  During Garfield’s administration he was appointed United States Deputy Collector under Hartson, for Alameda, Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties, holding the position four years.  For a time he was also the tobacco inspector at San Francisco, under United States Secretary of Treasury Folger, but he early resigned that position.  For the past three years he has served as Road Overseer of this district.  Mr. Mecklenburg is an ardent Republican, an abolitionist and free-soiler, with very decided opinions on the leading questions of the hour, in regard to which he takes a broad and comprehensive view.  Unfortunately, failing health has of late militated much against his comforts, but it is hoped that he will overcome this and regain health and strength.

Mr. Mecklenburg has three children, - one daughter and two sons.  The former is now Mrs. Cora Fawle, of Oakland; the sons, Lincoln, is a printer in Oakland, and J. H. is engaged in ranching near his father’s place, four or five miles above St. Helena.


JOHN D. LAWSON, a real-estate dealer of Woodland, was born in Jackson County, Tennessee, July 15, 1832, and he was eight years of age when the family moved with him to Chariton County, Missouri.  In 1852 he came by the overland route to California, settling in Sierra County, where he resided one year.  He then came to Yolo County, where he has continued to reside until the present time.  For a number of years he was engaged in farming, a few miles southwest of Woodland; but in 1860 he moved to Woodland, and built a residence on Lincoln avenue.  In 1861-’62, together with his only daughter, now Mrs. W. R. Pond, of Woodland, he attended Hesperian College.  He built the first livery-stable in that city in 1862.  In 1869 he entered mercantile business where he is now in the grocery of Eaton & Son; at the end of two years he sold to Mr. Eaton, and was appointed Deputy Sheriff and Jailer by Sheriff J. P. Bullock for four years.  Just before his term expired he was elected County Recorder, and left his former situation and assumed the duties of the latter for a two years’ term, commencing March 4, 1874.  The next two years he was engaged in the real-estate business, and then, in partnership with H. L. Marders, he kept the Fashion Stable: this was in 1878.  In 1883 he was again appointed Deputy Sheriff and Jailer, by Sheriff Jason Watkins, and held the position two years.  In 1871, while serving under Sheriff Bullock, he was elected the first Marshal of the town of Woodland, and served from March until May, under a temporary government until the charter for the incorporation was obtained.  After that he was elected a member of the Board of City Trustees for two terms.  His present business as real-estate agent was established in 1885.  In 1887 he admitted a partner, the firm name becoming Lawson & Maxwell, the latter retiring a year later.  Mr. Lawson continued the business alone until March, 1889, when he formed a copartnership with Louis Walker.  The firm name is now Lawson & Walker.  Politically, Mr. Lawson is a Democrat.

He was married to Miss Jane Browning, in Yolo County, September 13, 1855, Elder J. N. Pendegast performing the ceremony.  The result of this marriage has been a large family of children, all of whom are living at Woodland.  Their names are, respectively: Genoa, Wm. H., James B., Robert G. and Edward.

JOSHUA LAWSON, deceased, was born April 4, 1804, in Jackson County, Tennessee, and in November, 1829, he married Mary Chaffin, also a native of Tennessee.  The family made two trips to Missouri, - first in 1838, spending one year there and returning in 1839.  In 1840 they made their second trip, locating in Chariton County, and remained there until 1848, removing thence to Macon County, where they resided four years, when he came to California, with ox teams.  Leaving Bloomington, the county-seat of Macon County, April 13, 1852, they arrived at Gold Hill, Sierra County, September 6.  The whole family followed mining about a year.  In September, 1853, they came into Sacramento, where they sojourned about two or three months in an old hut on K street, between Eighth and Ninth, and on December 14, came into Yolo County and located permanently on a farm four miles southwest of Woodland, now owned by Dr. Strong.  The Lawson family all located land in the same neighborhood.  Joshua Lawson died in Woodland, December 21, 1862, and the widow is still living, at the age of eighty-three years.  In their family were seven daughters and two sons, of whom several died when young; four died in Woodland, and only two are now living, namely: Mrs. Shellhammer and J. D.  Joshua Lawson was a fine mechanic, and followed mechanical pursuits for over thirty years prior to coming to California.  He was a preacher of the Christian Church from 1835 to the time of his death.  He was the prime mover in the organization of the Christian Church at Woodland, the first pastor of the Church worshiping there, and unlike most pastors, he preached on Sunday without pecuniary reward, and attended to his mechanical pursuits during the week, -wagon and carriage-making, blacksmithing, gunsmithing, etc.  He was also one of the originators and founders of the Hesperian College at Woodland.


 W. G. BULLARD, merchant and Postmaster at Davisville, dates his birth June 20, 1831, in Monroe County, New York.  His parents, Benjamin and Eleanor (Weaver) Bullard, were natives respectively of Vermont and New York.  The father, a shoemaker by trade, but chiefly a farmer by occupation through life, moved in 1836 to Oakland County, Michigan, settling near Walled Lake, upon land which he purchased there.  In 1849 he sold out and moved to Fredonia, Calhoun County, same State, where he remained until 1853, and then he came to California with his family, overland, being five months and two days on the route, ending at Sacramento.  He was interested in a hotel there until 1870 and then he was a resident of Davisville until he died, in December, 1884, at the age of seventy-nine years.  In his family were three sons and five daughters.

 The subject of this sketch was brought up on a farm and was with his parents when they came to California.  The first work which he did for his own interest was at mining, principally at Timbuctoo, above Marysville, and in this business he continued about nine years, in company with a brother and brother-in-law.  He closed his mining experience with $2,200, to be divided between the three.  Then for about four years he was in the transfer business in Sacramento; next he was book-keeper for a canal company and a general mercantile house at Michigan Bar for three years; and then, in 1870 he removed to Davisville and was bookkeeper for Drisback & Company until that firm failed; then he started out for himself in the grain and mercantile business, but, not having the courage to deny credit, he failed in this enterprise.  His general character and uprightness was too well known for him to be long waiting for an opportunity, and in 1886 he was appointed Postmaster at Davisville, in which position he has served the people to the present time.  In connection with the office, he runs a very neat store of groceries and general merchandise.  He is a member of Dixon Chapter and Woodland Commandery of the Masonic order.

 Mr. Bullard was married October 20, 1868, to Mary A. T. Farrell, a native of Ireland, and they have two daughters and three sons, whose names are Mary E., Walter W., Edward F., William G. and Nettie B.


SMITH BROWN is the manager of the Eshcol Vineyard and Winery, of which James H. Goodman & Company are the proprietors.  This ranch contains 300 acres, 200 in vineyard and about twenty-five in orchard, and a portion was originally planted in 1882.  It has been largely replanted by the present owners.   The winery has a storage capacity of 800,000 gallons; building, 125 x 75, of three stories; the first floor devoted to storage, the second floor to fermenting and storage, and the upper floor to the crushing of grapes.  This product is sold to the trade in Napa and San Francisco.  Mr. Brown has been a resident of California since 1852, and of Napa County since 1855.  Born in Burrillsville, Rhode Island, in 1819, he attended the public schools of his native place, and later an academy in Fall River, up to the age of eighteen.  Two years afterward he embarked in the grocery business in Providence, under the firm name of Brown & Steere.  Selling out to his partner, he assisted to organize and was chosen president of the first company to establish a factory and engage in the manufacture of India rubber, before Goodyear’s experiments were known to the world.  With three friends he furnished one-third the capital which enabled the original discoverer of the vulcanizing process, Martin, to perfect and develop that great invention.  They began with the manufacture of rubber shoes in a small way.  For their own amusement the girls employed in the factory made little toys and animals, and gradually the business extended into new directions.  After one trip through the west Mr. Brown arrived home to find his factory destroyed by fire, and Goodyear, who had meantime patented his process for preparing rubber, brought suit enjoining the company from further manufacturing.  As so much had been lost by the fire he sold out his interests and removed to Baltimore, where he established the first stove foundry in the State of Maryland.  Of this he made quite a success, increasing the plant to $50,000, but in 1849 his foundry was burned, leaving only a lot of scrap-iron as the result of his labors there.  He then went to Massachusetts and engaged in the woolen manufacture with an uncle; but, his health failing, he spent one winter in Missouri, and in the spring of 1852 started on his trip across the plains, coming by way of Salt Lake and the Mojave Desert, and arriving at the little Mormon town of San Bernardino in 1852.  He spent the winter there and at Los Angles, coming to San Francisco in the spring of 1853, where he opened a livery stable on the corner of California and Webb streets, which he carried on for about two years.  In 1855 he put on the first line of stages running between Sonoma, Petaluma, Napa, the White Sulphur Springs and Sacramento, meantime, for one year, owning and conducting the Napa Hotel in connection with his stage line.  He sold out both in 1858, and, buying 1,000 acres of land from Cajetano Juarez, he engaged in grain and stock farming until 1866.  During this time, with Sam Brannan and others, he built the railroad from Soscol to Calistoga, and was its president until it was sold to Ryder & Roelofson in 1872.  Mr. Brown was interested in quartz mining in California, Nevada and Mexico from 1858 until he sold out his last mine at Angel’s Camp, in Calaveras County, in 1887.

Mr. Brown was married in 1840 to Miss Chloe Thayer, a native of Douglas, Massachusetts, who was the daughter of Marvel and Lucinda Thayer.  Both were descended from old England stock.  They have three children living:  Frances R., now the window of Henry Edgerton; Summit, now the wife of Homer S. King, of San Francisco, and Dana W., now residing in Nevada, and in the employ of the Carson & Colorado Railroad.  For many years of his earlier residence in California Mr. Brown dealt largely in cattle, driving them from Mexico and Southern California.  During his entire manhood he has been actively engaged in large business interests.  He has property in Seattle, Washington, and large landed interests in this State.  He was appointed a member of the State Board of Equalization by Governor Newton Booth in 1872.


MICHEL De KEYSER, a Pleasanton jeweler, was born at Antwerp, Belgium, July 6, 1857, the son of Charles and Lucia (Verbiest) De Keyser, natives also of that country, who had seven children.  At an early age Michel, their third child, was sent to Macon, France, where he learned the watchmaking and jewelers’ trade.  In 1881 he returned home and worked at his trade until 1884, when he came to America, landing at New Orleans.  Thence he came by train to San Francisco, where he followed his profession a year, with a partner of the name of H. De Houck, until 1886.  The latter then absconded, leaving Mr. De Keyser to pay all the debts.  Our subject next went to Hayward, and a year afterward removed to Pleasanton, where he is now well established in the jewelry business.  He has also one other shop, namely, Livermore, where he manufactures jewelry.  He has concluded that partner-ship is a very poor “ship” to sail in, having been robbed and broken up in his business twice through the rascality of such associates in business.  He thinks now that he will sail through business life alone.  Being of an inventive genius, he has devised several combinations, which he expects to render useful.  One of them is an economical process for extracting oil from seeds, which he claims will extract and take out a larger percentage then any other process now in vogue.

Mr. De Keyser was married in Belgium, May 11, 1881, to Miss Natilia De Lombaerde, and they have two daughters and a son.


HON. WILLIAM MINIS.-In retracing the genealogy of this gentleman, we find that a grandfather, John Minis, was a native of the north of Ireland and came to the United States in old age with five sons, landing at Pittsburg in the year 1800.  The eldest of these sons, William Minis, was the father of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch.  He first settled in Butler County, Pennsylvania, and then moved into Beaver County, same State, where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1859.  He married Mary Cochran, also a native of Ireland, and they brought up two sons and two daughters; both the daughters are deceased.

The younger of the sons, the subject of this sketch, was born in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, March 7, 1819, and spent his younger days with his father upon the farm, indeed until he was thirty years of age.  Being in a “backwoods” section of the State, his advantages for education were limited to what could be obtained in the pioneer log school-house, and a short term at an academy.  During the early gold-mining period, a company of 300 members was formed at Pittsburg, called the “Pittsburg Company,” to come to California.  This was joined by Mr. Minis, who at the time was living eighteen miles distant on the Ohio River.  They came upon a chartered steamboat to St. Joseph, Missouri, where Mr. Minis and three others left the company and joined a stock company with Captain Winters at the head.  They crossed the Missouri River April 7 and landed at Sacramento August 7, 1849, among the first immigrants of that year.  Going immediately to the mines on the Yuba River above Marysville, at a place called Long Bar, Mr. Minis and his comrades began work; but as there was much sickness there they soon returned to Sacramento.  They next went to Clear Creek, twelve miles west of where Shasta is now, and camped there about six weeks, during which time they buried one of their number at that place.  Of sixty miners at that point, twenty sickened and died.  But gold was plentiful; every man able to work took out from the dry diggings there $50 to $500.  The rainy season approaching, they returned to Sacramento, arriving there a few days before Christmas, 1849, and wintering in and about that city.

 In the spring three of Mr. Minis’ mess companions went to the mines, while he and another man named Wells built a house on the Coloma road, as a wayside hotel.  This was conducted by Mr. Minis about fifteen months, when he sold out his interest and joined his messmates at Ford’s Bar on the American River, and worked there in the river mines until the autumn of 1852.  Then, together with his companion, J. J. Lytle, he came into Yolo County, settling on the banks of Putah Creek, and followed agricultural pursuits there until 1858.  They intended to buy land at first, but the title was not clear.  In 1857 the grant upon which they settled was confirmed to William Wolfskill; and in that year Mr. Minis purchased the old Tule House seven miles west of Sacramento, which in those days was the great place for making money, Sacramento being the commercial center.  After running that house about three years he sold out and bought 2,000 acres of land in this county, which he fenced for grazing purposes; and on it he built a nice residence.  Altogether, he expended upon the place about $10,000; but the flood of 1862 came and everything went down the river.  This of course left Mr. Minis in financial straits.  In the spring he settled in the little town of Washington, in Yolo County, directly opposite Sacramento, and remained there until December, 1865.  During that fall he was elected Sheriff of Yolo County and at the end of two years he was re-elected- thus serving four years.  In 1869 he was elected joint Senator for Solano and Yolo counties, and served a term of four years.  On going out of the Sheriff’s office he was elected Justice of the Peace and Town Recorder for Woodland.  In 1875 Mr. Minis was elected Surveyor General for the State of California, which office he held from January, 1876, to January, 1880.  For the next six years he was a grocer in Woodland; but in the autumn of 1886 he was elected County Treasurer, and in the fall of 1888 was re-elected, and is therefore holding that position to the present time.   In 1853, while living upon the Wolfskill grant, he was elected County Surveyor, and re-elected several times, without opposition.  In 1856, while he was keeping the Tule House in Yolo County, he was elected to the Legislature and served four months.  He has always been a Democrat, and an efficient worker for the party; has never been beaten for office but once; has also been a faithful attendant at the county and State conventions of his party for more than thirty years past.  He has never been known to have an enemy.

In 1857 Mr. Minis was married to Mrs. Elmira Gale, a native of Ohio, and by this marriage there was one son, George, who is now in the United States Land Office at Sacramento.  By the present marriage there is one daughter, Mollie, who is the wife of F. E. Lambert, of Sacramento, and the mother of two children.

 HIRAM P. MERRITT, of Merritt Station, Yolo County, the most extensive breeder of live-stock in Northern California, is a representative of the best type of the American business man.  Like most men who have achieved distinction in their respective callings, he started in life without capital save a fine physical organization and an active and well poised brain.  A pioneer of 1850, he came here a young man, and after passing through more than the usual vicissitudes and reverses of those early days, he has by industry, economy and shrewd judgment long stood in the front ranks of Yolo County’s wealthy, influential citizens.

 Dr. Merritt was born January 24, 1830, in Fairhaven, Rutland County, Vermont.  His father, Noble Merritt, was a lumberman.  His mother’s name before marriage was Elizabeth Bates.  He was three years of age when his parents moved to Allegany County, New York, by way of Lake Chaplain and Erie Canal.  In their new home his father engaged in the lumber business, as that portion of the State of New York was then a dense forest; and here young Hiram assisted his father to the extent of his ability, thus forming the habits of industry which he still retains, although of late years his heavy work has been more of the intellectual kind.  As the prospects in Western New York for business with the commercial world were not satisfactory to his ambition, he started for the West, in company with his uncle, Sydney Merritt, as far as Detroit, and alone to Indiana.  On starting, his cash capital was only $15, and arriving at South Bend, Indiana, he found his capital reduced to $2.50.  Here he first secured employment in a drug store, which place he retained for six years, receiving as compensation only his necessary expenses, with the privilege of studying medicine.  By diligence and economy, and occasional practice at dentistry, he became able to attend medical lectures and graduate at the State Medical College of Indiana, in the spring of 1849.  Returning to South Bend, he followed his chosen profession, in partnership with his old preceptor.  His father sent him $100 at the beginning of his practice for the purchase of a horse to use in attending calls.  He gave #25 of this to an aunt to keep for him, with the intention of coming to California, which he did the next year - 1850.  He joined an Indiana party, comprising the Wall Brothers (now of Denver) Dan W. Earl, of San Francisco, and others.  At Council Bluffs he utilized his medical knowledge in a small-pos epidemic, vaccinating the multitudes as he sat upon the wagon-seat.  He also had many occasions to exercise his medical skill while crossing the plains.

 The party arrived in Sacramento in August.  The first business in which Dr. Merritt engaged after arriving here was that of running a meat market, at Bridgeport, on the South Yuba, and financially he was successful.  In three months he sold out, went to the North Fork of the Cosumnes River, in Placer County, intending to follow the practice of medicine; and while residing there he became famous as a hunter.  On one occasion, while out hunting deer, he was shot at by an Indian, the ball striking the rock on which he was sitting and throwing the splinters into his face.  At another time he was engaged with a party of miners in a skirmish against Indians who had stolen their horses and mules, and in this engagement about thirty Indians were killed.

But, as the settlers were few and there was but little sickness among them, and as the Doctor had no taste for mining, he would have returned East could he have collected money enough, and continued his medical studies in Philadelphia.  As it has turned out, however, it is probably the best for him that he remained in this State.  On the first day of January, 1851, he passed through Yolo County the first time, being at the time engaged in transporting merchandise by mule pack-train between Sacramento, Scott’s River, Yreka and other points north, a distance of 400 miles; and although his capital was small, he made money.  Going next to Carson Valley, with some $2,000, he did a prosperous business buying cattle, horses and mules of emigrants on their way to California and selling them to settlers in the Sacramento Valley.  After thus accumulating considerable money he entered farming pursuits on an extensive scale in Yolo County; but the first effort was a failure.  Yet he took courage and began to retrieve his fortune by returning to Carson City and resuming his old trade with the emigrants.  He did not undertake to wait in idleness for his grain to grow, as most others did, but improved his time in trading.  He adhered to his agricultural pursuits until about three years ago when he rented all his agricultural lands in Yolo County, since which time he has been occupied looking after his extensive stock-breeding farms and other interests.  Thus he has been busily employed every season since he first came to the State, except that of 1856, when he made a visit to the East; but even this time he utilized the opportunity by bringing with him a herd of horses, which he disposed of profitably after his arrival here.  Although he early abandoned his medical profession, his knowledge of hygiene and medicine has doubtless been of great benefit to him through this long period.  He has made some money, of course, by the natural rise in the value of his lands, and has become by far the most extensive stock-raiser and mule-breeder in Central California, having grazing grounds in several other parts of the State besides Yolo County, and also in Nevada.  In Yolo County alone he has over 4,500 acres of good land; the exact number of acres cannot be told without a study of the public records, and is the largest land-owner in the county.  He has 2,500 acres of the finest land where he resides, at Merritt Station, which point is named after him.  It is on the line of the railroad between Woodland and Davisville, whence as much grain is shipped as from any other point on the road.  The Doctor has 14,000 acres in Trinity and Mendocino counties, devoted to grazing and breeding mules and cattle.  On an extensive tract in Nevada he has 30,000 sheep or more.  He is one of the original owners in the great Seventy-six Canal in Fresno and Tulare counties, which serves to irrigate immense tracts of land.  It is one of the most gigantic enterprises of the kind in California.  The Doctor’s example has ever shown that he is a firm believer, not in luck, but in untiring industry.  He has been President of the Bank of Yolo ever since its organization.  He has made two trips to the Eastern States, and in 1878 he made a trip across the Atlantic, visiting Great Britain and various points on the continent of Europe; was in Paris during the great exposition of that year.  He is so firm a believer in the capacities of the soil and climate of Central and Northern California that he really maintains that an industrious man can not only make a living off of ten acres of ground here, but actually lay up money.  In view of this fact he holds that the price of land here is absurdly low.

The Doctor was married May 26, 1868, to Miss Jeannette E. Hebron, and has two sons and two daughters.  The sons, Alanson A. and George N., are both with their father, and by both inheritance and training they are exemplary young men, having been brought up to appreate ate the utility of industry.


J. L. ELLIOTT, manager of a lumber yard at Winters as agent of F. B. Chandler, is one of the well-known men of Winters, born May 22, 1864, in Linn County, Oregon.  At the age of three years he was brought by his parents to California.  His father, J. M., was born in Kentucky July 1, 1820 and came to this State in 1849; finding the cholera raging here he proceeded immediately to Oregon, where he remained until 1867; then he came to Solano County, where he was engaged stock-raising and farming to the time of his death, October 30, 1883.  Mr. Elliott’s mother, whose maiden name was Celia Paul, was born in Missouri, November 9, 1826, and died in Vacaville, September 17, 1880, leaving four sons and four daughters.   The subject of this notice, next to the youngest of the family, made his home at Vacaville until he completed his school days, and served four years as Wells & Fargo’s express messenger, and then he located upon his present place, April 1, 1889.  His wife, whose maiden name was Hattie E. Dafoe, was born December 6, 1867, in Canada, and they were married in Winters, October 2, 1889.  They have one son, Charles Arno, born July 27, 1890.  Mr. Elliott is a member of Vacaville Lodge, No. 83, I.O.O.F., and of Damocles Lodge, No. 33, K. of P.


C. D. MORIN, dealer in tin and hardware at Woodland, is the son of John and Julia (Brandmore) Morin, natives of Canada.  His father was a cooper by trade, for a time held the office of inspector of potash, and died when C. D. was a small boy, in Montreal, Canada; and the mother died in Brockville, Upper Canada.  Mr. Morin was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1832, and at the age of seventeen years he began to learn the trade of tinner in Brockville, Canada, with John Lafayette.  In 1852 he went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was employed nine months, and then he came overland to California, stopping, however, at North Platte and Fort Laramie, where he was engaged for a time in trading with the Indians.  He came that far with a band of sheep owned by Z. Rochon.  He arrived in Sacramento in 1853 and followed mining one summer season at Salmon Falls on the American River; next he followed his trade a year at Sacramento; then mined again one year at Indian Diggings; returning to Sacramento again, he remained there until 1858, when he went to Fraser River, during the first flush of excitement from that quarter, and for a short time was employed there by a man named Bragg.  He spent a month in the mines, and returned to Sacramento, stopped there four months, and then for eight months he worked for M. Winchell at Cacheville, Yolo County, in the tin business, and he then bought him out.  After conducting the business there for seven years he moved to Woodland, where he has succeeding well in business, and being one of the prominent citizens of the place.  He has a nice residence on Court street.  He is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 22, A.O.U.W.

Mr. Morin married Miss Minnie B. Schindler, a daughter of David Schindler, born in Wisconsin, and they have three children: Mattie M., aged twenty-two years, and Minnie M., aged twenty years.  Mattie is a music teacher, and Minnie is a dressmaker.


WILLIAM H. WELCH, Superintendent of the County Hospital of Yolo County, is a son of Robert and Jane (Crawford) Welch, natives of Kentucky.  His father, a farmer by occupation, raised the first barley on the plains of Yolo County and died in 1854, at the age of fifty-four years, within three miles of Woodland.  His mother died in 1871, at the age of sixty-eight years, in Yolo County.  The subject of this sketch was born in Tennessee, December 11, 1833; in 1854 he came to California across the plains, stopping first in this county, within three miles of Woodland, where for some time he followed farming and ran a trading store in Buckeye for four years, and also a store in Woodland two years.  For an exception, it can be said of him that he never struck a pick in the mines.  He was elected to position in February, 1888, and is well known as an industrious man who deserves all he receives and even more.  He is well liked at the hospital and by people in generally.  The average number of inmates at this institution is about twenty-five; and among them there is at present a lady, named Ellen Smith, who is aged 103 years, being born in Dublin, Ireland; and she is remarkably active.  The hospital stands on forty acres of well improved land, where Mr. Welch raises some fine hogs, as well as fruit and other farm produce. 

 He was married in Tennessee, to Susan Pinkley, a native of Macon County, that State, who died in 1861, in Yolo County , leaving three children: Mattie, now the wife of A. G. Reed, and living in Woodland; W. F., a resident of Woodland, and R. L., a resident of Colusa, this State.

 FRED CRAIG, a prosperous farmer residing on his fine farm five miles southeast of Davisville, was born in the State of New York; his parents having died when he was quite young he went to Ohio, where he made his home with an uncle, Mr. Craig, a farmer of that State.  Here he received a limited education in the common schools.  In 1852 he started for California, taking passage on a steamboat  at Wheeling, Virginia, and traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans.  From there he took a vessel for Havana to inspect a steamer from New York to Chicago.  The voyage was tedious and uneventful.  Having crossed the Isthmus of Panama, he was obliged to wait fifteen days for a vessel to San Francisco.  He finally secured a passage on a sail vessel, which proved to be unseaworthy and scantily provisioned.  After a few weeks of stormy weather, which drove the ship out of her course, they landed at San Blas for provisions.  From here they again started for San Francisco and again encountered severe storms, which drove them to the Sandwich Islands, where they landed for a fresh supply of provisions.  They finally landed in San Francisco, in September, 142 days from the date of leaving Panama.  Mr. Craig worked for a short time near San Francisco, then went to Nevada City, California, and engaged in mining for two years and a half.  From Nevada City he went to Coloma and worked in the mines of that camp about the same length of time.  In April, 1857, he came to Yolo County, and worked as a farm laborer for three years. In 1860 he commenced farming on his own account, on rented land; and in 1862 bought the farm where he now lives.  His home farm contains 160 acres and he also owns 160 acres in Solano County, adjoining the home place.  He devotes his attention entirely to grain and stock-raising.

He was married April 2, 1868 to Miss Juliett A. Royce, a daughter of Alpheus Waldo and Jane (Olmstead) Royce.  Mr. Royce was a native of Connecticut and his wife a native of Vermont.  Mrs. Craig has one brother who resides in San Diego, California.


H. G. FINCH, farmer of Solano County, is the son of John and Mehetabel (Brown) Finch.  His father, born in the State of New York in 1766, was a blacksmith by trade and in the war of 1812 did the shoeing of horses for many regiments; he died in Hamilton County, Indiana, at the age of eight-one years; his mother was born also in New York State, in 1777, died in Hamilton County, Indiana, some years previously.  Mr. Finch, our subject, was born in Wayne County, Indiana, in 1819, and resided in Hamilton County, Indiana, until the Mexican war, when he took the position of clerk of a quartermaster’s office, and was employed by the Government until 1849, when he came here through the Straits of Magellan, in the steamer Panama, commanded by Admiral D. D. Porter, U. S. N., to California, being 107 days on the trip.  He first employed himself in this State in mining on the north fork of the American River; and then engaged in mining about three months at Big Bar; and then he went to Benicia, where he was again employed as a clerk in the quartermaster’s office, and then in a similar position in San Francisco.  During the civil war, he spent a year and half in St. Louis, Missouri, and after this he traveled over the United States a great deal in the employ of the Government.  He settled in Solano County in 1871, within five mils of Winters, Yolo County; and here he now has 182 acres of well improved land, devoted mostly to fruit.  He rents the land and lives at Winters.

For his wife he married Miss Mary A. Cosebolt, who was afterward killed by a railroad car while crossing the track at Suisun City, February 10, 1888.  Mr. Finch as one son, named Fabius T., aged fourteen years, attending school at San Francisco. 


JACKSON BROWN, a farmer of Yolo County, was born in Otsego County, New York, August 8, 1828.  His parents, Amos and Eliza (Tubbs) Brown, were natives of the same county.  His father died in New York, after which his mother moved to Minnesota, where she died at an advanced age.  Jackson Brown came to California in 1854 via the Nicaragua route and landed in San Francisco May 4.  From there he came directly to Yolo County, where he engaged in farming; he owns 480 acres of land, all under cultivation.  He devotes his attention exclusively to grain and stock raising.

He was married, April 12, 1852, to Miss Anna Eliza Hubbard, a native of Otsego County, New York.  She came to California in 1856, having remained in New York the first two years that her husband was in California.  She died in 1858, leaving two children, a son and a daughter.  Robert S., the eldest, is married and lives on his father’s farm, with whom his father makes his home.  Anna Eliza, the daughter, was married to Edward Broad.  They reside in Sacramento.


ELI SNIDER, proprietor of Putah Nursery and a fruit-raiser, Yolo County, is a native of Ohio, born in Springfield, Clark County, March 1, 1853.  He received his education in the public schools of his native place.  At the age of seventeen years he engaged as an apprentice in one of the excellent machine shops of Ohio, where he served three years, thoroughly learning the machinist’s trade.  In the fall of 1875 he came to Yolo County, California, where he worked for five years, most of the time either as engineer for steam thresher or steam pump.  In 1880 he engaged in farming, on rented land, giving a portion of the crop in payment for rent; he continued farming on rented land for four years.  In 1885 he bought the farm on which he now resides.  He has ten acres of nursery stock, which consists of all kinds of fruit and ornamental trees and vines.  On his fruit farm he has seventy acres planted to apricots, prunes, peaches and pears, twenty acres of which are bearing.

He was married, November 17, 1880, to Miss Minnie Montgomery, a daughter of Alexander and Susan (Martin) Montgomery.  Her father was a native of Kentucky and her mother of Virginia; they crossed the plains to California in 1850.  Mr. and Mrs. Snider have one child, a son, Alexander, aged eight years.  Mr. Snider is a member of Yolo Lodge, No. 169, I. O.O.F., and Athens Lodge, No. 228, F & A. M., both located in Davisville.  He is also a member of Pythias Lodge, No. 43, Knights of Pythias, located in Woodland.  He has a fine two-story house on his farm, is energetic and thorough in all he undertakes, and therefore is deservedly prosperous.

 THEODORE PLEISCH.-Among the prominent business men of Anderson are none more worthy of mention than the gentleman whose name heads this biographical sketch.  His parents, Theodore and Josephine (Angler) Pleisch, were natives of Switzerland and emigrated to America in 1850, locating in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He also is a native of Switzerland, dating his birth October 7, 1849, and during his parents’ residence in Milwaukee he had the benefit of the public schools.  The family moved in 1859 to the State of Indiana, where the mother died.  In 1869 the father recruited a company for the war, and received a commission as Captain in the army, commanding Company A, Sixtieth Indiana Infantry, in which capacity he served actively until 1863.  While in action before Vicksburg he received a wound which incapacitated him for service, and he was discharged in 1864, but never fully recovered from his injury, and died in 1867.

Our subject has also an army record.  He was enlisted in 1861 as a drummer boy in the Sixtieth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and was engaged in many battles, serving until 1865, when he was discharged.  During his term of office the family had moved to Philadelphia.  When dismissed from the service he also went to that city and engaged as clerk to E. Stipina & Co., wholesale liquor dealers, leaving their employ in 1868, when he came, via Panama, to San Francisco.  Here he remained until the spring of 1869, then went to Sacramento and became engaged in handling stock in the interest of George Leet for two years, and followed the same business two years for Clarke & Cox.  In 1872 he commenced stock-raising on his own account, in Lassen County, and was successful in that enterprise until the winter of 1876, when he lost most of his stock by severe weather and want of food.  In the spring he sold what remained of his stock, and took charge of fourteen miles of road owned by A. M. Jackson, and known as the Montgomery Creek & Burney toll road, running over the mountain districts of Shasta County.  Mr. Pleisch managed this enterprise until 1881, when he purchased ranch property, but sold out the same year and came to Anderson, where he engaged in the real estate business, buying and selling town property the first year.  His next enterprise was the building of a large livery and sale stable, and he has since conducted the livery business, having also connected with his stables a large corral for loose stock, and accommodation for teams hauling to and from the mining districts.  He is the owner of residence property in Anderson and farm lands near town, and has been connected with several of the public enterprises of this section of the county, being one of the incorporators of the Anderson Canning establishment in 1890.

 Mr. Pleisch is a man of family, being joined in marriage at Montgomery Creek, Shasta County, November 1, 1881, with Miss Arabella Bainbridge, a native of California, and daughter of John P. Bainbridge, of Colusa County, who was a pioneer of 1849.  Mr. and Mrs. Pleisch have three children, viz.: John T., Eliza and an infant son.


ORMISTON W. SWAYZE, A. B., M. D. of Lakeport, was born near St. Catherines, Canada, in the year 1865, and in 1870 his parents removed to Michigan, and in 1875 to California.  He lived in Quincy, Plumas County, two years, and then moved to Lakeport, Lake County.  In 1880 he entered Adelbert College, of the Western Reserve University, at Cleveland, Ohio, where he pursued his studies until 1884; then he entered the Homeopathic College of that city, and graduated there with honor.  After serving a year as assistant house-surgeon at the Huron Street Hospital of Cleveland, he commenced the practice of his chosen profession in Lakeport, in the spring of 1889, and has been so uniformly successful that his practice is not exceeded by any physician in the city, and extends to nearly every part of the county.  He is the only homeopathic physician in Lakeport.


S. A. HOWARD, a farmer near Woodland, is the son of Edmaer and Mary (Roberson) Howard, natives of Missouri; the father, a farmer by vocation, and an exemplary member of the Baptist Church, died in Cooper County, Missouri, and the mother died at the same place, leaving two sons.  S. A., the subject of this notice, and the youngest son, was born in that county in 1831, and in 1857 came across the plains to California, bringing 212 head of cattle, and all the family came with him, and settled in Yolo County, and here Mr. Howard has been engaged in the rearing of and dealing in live-stock, devoting his fine farm to this profitable business.  He has a splendid ranch, a mile north of Woodland.

In 1857, in Cooper County, Missouri, Mr. Howard married Elizabeth Stevens, and their children are as follows: Marshall L., born December 14, 1857; Edward S., January 16, 1859; James M., February 10, 1861; Mary L., May 9, 1862; Willie E., born May 3, 1864; died January 3, 1884.  Mr. Howard is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 186, F. & A. M., of Woodland; No. __, A.O.U.W., and of Woodland Lodge, No. 24, O. C. F.


WILLIAM O. EDMANDS, Jr., a farmer of Upper Lake, Lake County, was born at Newton, Massachusetts, December 23, 1859.  He received his education in the public schools of Newton and Harvard College, where he graduated in the class of 1883.  In the fall of 1884 he came to Lake County with Messrs. Charles Mifflin Hammond and Gardiner Greene Hammond Jr., to look for a location to engage in wine manufacture and in fruit and stock raising.  They were pleased with this section of country and purchased 1, 300 acres of land on the east side of the northern part of Clear Lake.  This tract of land was not improved, having been used previously as a sheep ranch.  They took possession of this property, since known as “Red Hill Ranch,” November 1, 1884, and immediately entered upon a vigorous and systematic course of improvement.  The climate and soil have proven to be admirably adapted for the purposes for which it has been utilized, and the results accomplished in the few years under management of the proprietors is truly wonderful.  Mr. Edmands’ ranch consists of 482 acres, 100 of which is cultivated, the balance being used as pasture lands.  He is engaged principally in raising fine cattle and horses, making a specialty of the short-horn Durham breed of cattle and grade Percheron horses.  He has a very attractive house, which commands a magnificent view of Clear Lake and the grand scenery surrounding it.  He is constantly making new improvements, being now engaged in laying pipes to conduct water from a fine spring on the mountain side about one mile distant, to his residence.  Mr. Edmands is very systematic in all he does, which, in connection with his good judgment and enterprise, has led to his present prosperity, and which cannot fail to result in future success.  His accomplished wife, nee Hammond, is a daughter of Mr. Gardiner Greene Hammond, a gentleman of New London, Connecticut.


RICHARD C. RUST. “a native son of Gold West,” was born in Marysville, Yuba County, California, October 19, 1855.  His parents, Richard and Eva line (Church) Rust, natives of Vermont, emigrated from that State in an early day and settled in New Orleans, Louisiana, where they resided until 1849.  In the spring of this year, his father, having been appointed one of the Government Commission to establish the boundary line between the United States and Mexico, removed to San Diego, California, where he resided until 1851.  From 1849 to 1851 he held the position of Alcalde for San Diego County, which corresponds to the office of county clerk and recorder, of the present time.  Was elected County Clerk of San Diego County at the first election after admission of California as a State.  In 1851 he went to Marysville, and established the Marysville Express, a newspaper which he published and was connected with till 1857.  During the same time he established the Placer Herald, which he sold in a short time.  The Herald is still published at Auburn, and is one of the leading papers of Placer County.  In 1857 he sold out his interest in Marysville and moved to Sacramento, where he was employed as editor on the State Journal till 1858.  At the time the Vigilance Committee of California was organized in 1856, Mr. Rust was strenuously opposed to this organization and used his influence for its dissolution, and the re-establishment of a government on democratic principles.  I 1859 he moved to Mokelumne Hill, becoming connected with the Calaveras Chronicle, which he conducted until 1861.  He then sold his interests in the Chronicle, and retired from the newspaper business; the paper is still being published at Mokelumne Hill.  Mr. Rust was engaged in several newspaper enterprises before he came to California.

In 1861 he purchased a homestead about ten miles above Mokelumne Hill, and engaged in domestic pursuits, until the time of his death, which occurred August 15, 1872.  Mr. Rust never entirely gave up his literary pursuits, having continually acted as correspondent for a number of leading newspapers of the State, to the time of his death.  His wife is still living and is seventy-four years old.

Richard C. Rust, the subject of this sketch, was married November 30, 1887, to Miss Lizzie G. Hosmer, a daughter of H. B. and M. V. (Tagart) Hosmer.  They have one child, Richard Whitney, born December 3, 1889.  Mr. Rust is a stanch Democrat, and received his early education in the public schools of Calaveras County, after which he attended D. C. Stone’s preparatory school for the State University.  In March, 1876, he commenced the study of law with O’Connor & Pardow in San Francisco, after which he was with Hon. A. C. Adams.  He was admitted to the bar, November 10, 1879, and March 19, 1885, was admitted to the United States District Court, and November 11, 1887, to the United States Circuit Court, and from 1879 to 1883, practiced law in San Francisco.  In 1883 he came to Jackson, Amador County, and formed a partnership with Hon. A. Caminetti, with whom he remained until January 1, 1887.  He then formed a partnership with Hon. John A. Eagon, under the firm name of Eagon & Rust, with whom he is still associated.  They have an extensive law practice, and are one of the leading law firms of the foothills of Northern California.


PETER LAUENER, a farmer near Capay, was born April 26, 1835, in Switzerland, the son of Christian and Ann Lauener, natives also of that country; the father, by occupation a farmer, died there in 1849, at the age of forty-five years.  Peter was brought up on a farm in Switzerland until 1851, when, he emigrated to America, with his widowed mother and five other children, and came direct to Richland County, Illinois, where he remained until 1859, on a small farm owned by his mother.  In 1859 he came overland to California, by way of Pike’s Peak, where he remained two weeks.  The ensuing winter he spent at Placerville, and during the following spring he entered Capay Valley, and worked for wages until he purchased his present place in 1887, which he is preparing for a fruit farm.  It comprises 300 acres, and is situated three miles from Capay.  He has a sister in Yolo County, and a brother at Sonora.  He is a member of Lodge No. 242, O.C.F., at Capay.

He was married in 1872, to Miss Nancy Lang, a native of New York, and a sister of J. A. Lang, an old, time-honored pioneer of Yolo County.  Mr. Lauener is an energetic and prosperous farmer, with brilliant prospects before him.

ROBERT J. ADAMS, Sheriff and Tax Collector of Amador County, was born in the province of Quebec, Canada, November 10, 1846.  He received his education in the public schools of that country.  His father was a farmer, and Robert stayed at home until about the age of twenty, when he came to California and engaged in the lumber business on the Mokelumne River.  He remained in that business until 1882, then took a position with F. M. Whitmore, as book-keeper and business manager for about two years.  In 1884 he was nominated, on the Republican ticket, for Sheriff, but was defeated in the election.  In 1884 he went to work for the Amador Canal Company, where he remained till 1886.  In that year he was again nominated for Sheriff and this time elected.  In 1888 he was re-elected, and is the present Sheriff of Amador County.  His parents were natives of Scotland.  His father still resides in Canada and is well advanced in years:  his mother died in February, 1887, at the age of sixty-five.

 Mr. Adams was married May 17, 1887, to Miss Ann Nickols.  They have three children living; the oldest, Nellie O., is twelve years of age; the second, Alexander Garfield, is nine years old; the third died at the age of three years; and the fourth, Robert J., is four years old.  Mr. Adams is a gentleman of pleasing address, but firm in the line of his duty, and makes a very efficient and popular officer. 

 WILLIAM Y. BROWNING, a farmer near Woodland, was born March 15, 1829, in Tennessee, a son of Charles and Elizabeth (Crawford) Browning.  His father, a native of South Carolina, was a farmer by occupation and moved to Kentucky in early day, locating upon land which he purchased in Monroe County.  In 1854 he came overland to California, with ox teams and a small drove of cattle, and settled in Yolo County, where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1861, when he was sixty-two years of age.  His surviving wife died in 1882, aged seventy-nine years.  They brought up a large family of children.  William Y., our subject, left home at the age of twenty years, resided in Missouri a portion of 1849-”50, and in the spring of the latter year came to California, with ox teams; returning to the East, he came again in 1854 and 1856.  On his first arrival in this State he followed mining on Dry Creek, near Drytown.  In the spring of 1851 he mined at Gibsonville, and ever since 1852 he has been engaged in farming and stock-raising.  He now has 540 acres of choice farming land, his residence being two and a half miles from Woodland, on a splendid gravel road.  He is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 156, F. & A. M.

He was married in 1856 to Miss Rowena Howard, a native of Missouri, whose mother is now in California, aged ninety years.  Mr. and Mrs. Browning have two sons and four daughters, namely: Zella, wife of Dr. B. F. Clark, of San Francisco; Tillie, now Mrs. W. A. Hall, of the same city; Charles L., William H., Mary and Ida.

 ALVAH C. VAN DER VOORT, Justice of the Peace and real-estate dealer at Pleasanton, dates his birth in Canada, near Bellville, March 14, 1851, where he was reared and educated.  His first engagement after the cessation of his school-days was as a book-keeper in a manufacturing establishment.  His father, Jacob E. Van Der Voort, a native of Canada, whose ancestors were from Holland, was a farmer by occupation, and at the age of twenty-one years was elected a Representative to Parliament.  His wife’s name before marriage was Deborah Hageman; she also was a native of Canada and of Holland descent; both the parents died in 1853.  The subject of his biographical mention came into the United States in 1870, locating at Sunol, California, where he was engaged with his uncle, A. S. Sabome, on his farm for twelve years; and then until 1884 he was engaged in agricultural pursuits on his own account.   He then moved to Pleasanton, and for two years was connected with Albert E. Crane in real-estate business, having an office also at San Francisco.  In 1886 he was elected Justice of the Peace, and in 1888 was re-elected.  In the real-estate business he is now connected with Carnall, Fitzhugh, Hopkins & Co.; capital stock, $100,000.  This company was incorporated with the following officers:  Nathan C. Carnall, President; William M. Fitzhugh, Vice-President; George W. Hopkins, Secretary; Bank of California, Treasurer.  Mr. Van  Der Voort is also engaged in fire and life insurance and debt collections.  He is a member of Industry Lodge, No. 62, A. O. U. W., of Pleasanton.  He is a Republican in his politics, and is active in local affairs.

He was married at Sunol, September 9, 1884, to Miss Alameda Frakes, and they have one daughter.  His wife’s father, a native of Kentucky, and her mother, a native of Illinois, were married at Santa Clara, and have seven children. 

 WILLIAM OBERHOUSE, a Yolo County farmer, was born May 5, 1823, in Prussia, and was only six months old when his father died.  In 1845 he emigrated to America, landing at New Orleans.  The first five years in this country he was a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, engaged as a ship-calker.  In the spring of 1850 he came overland with mule teams to California, driving a team every day and having the ground for a bed every night.  He was just ninety days in making the trip, which was a pleasant one.  He was among those who were the first to go upon the south side of the Humboldt, where there was plenty of feed.  Arriving at Sacramento, the company disbanded and Mr. Oberhouse followed mining two months at Coloma, when he was taken sick and returned to Sacramento.  Then he went by water from San Francisco to Humboldt County, being three weeks on the ocean.  He visited Scott’s River and Scott’s Valley and Shasta Creek on mule-back, and, his mule becoming mired in the snow, he turned him d own upon his side and dragged him down the hill b y the tail!  He stopped two weeks on Shasta, or Whisky Creek, and was raided one night by some Indians.  Some of his company were killed and some robbed.  He returned to Sacramento and drove a water-wagon until 1853, when he returned to Missouri by way of the Isthmus.  Remaining at St. Louis until 1855, he came again to California, by way of the Isthmus.  After visiting Sacramento and Yolo County, he took a piece of land in Solano County, which afterward proved to be grant land and he rented it for a time.  Crossing the creek into Yolo County he purchased a squatter’s claim to a tract which he has ever since made his home and which he has highly improved.  There are now 480 acres of the homestead, and he raises hay, grain and live-stock.  It is three miles east from Winters.

Mr. Oberhouse was married in 1854, to Miss Frederica Bearnbum, a native of Prussia, and they have had three sons and four daughters, namely:  Emma L., wife of George Sims; Ella L., George, William D., Louis E. and two deceased.  All the sons are married.

 GEORGE E. GOODMAN has lived in California since 1852, and in Napa since 1855.  Born in Rochester, New York, in 1823, he attended the common and high schools of that city up to the age of nineteen, when he removed to Memphis, Tennessee, where he had an uncle in business, and engaged as a shipping clerk in a cotton commission house, remaining there until 1852.  Returning to Rochester for a visit to his parents, he proceeded to New York and thence to San Francisco by way of Panama, arriving October 3, 1852, after a trip of thirty days.  Among his fellow-passengers on that trip were ex-Senator W. M. Gwinn, ex-Congressman McCorkle, Mr. Hardenburgh, formerly Surveyor-General of the State, and Nicholas Luning, the millionaire of San Francisco.  During that voyage Dr. Gwinn frequently prophesied the building of the transcontinental railroad, which was carried out twenty years later.  Mr. Goodman was engaged in the wholesale grocery and produce business in San Francisco until 1855.  At that time business in San Francisco was very lively, and all merchandise was shipped around Cape Horn.  Passengers and mails only came by way of Panama.  When Mr. Goodman crossed, the railroad was built for only about fourteen miles up the Chagres River, then about ten miles by rowboat, and the rest of the way by mule to Panama.  Thus it will be seen that no merchandise could come by the Panama route, which at that time was hardly capable of carrying the passengers and mail.  This left a grand opportunity for the wide-awake speculators who then abounded in San Francisco to get up corners on certain accommodations, and at the same time rendered the market liable to be so glutted with other articles that boxes of tobacco, for instance, weighing from 140 to 150 pounds, were used for crossings in the streets, and doubtless in some parts of the city these boxes could now be found marking the foundations of those streets.  At times corners were mode on goods so that they sold for fabulous prices, and at others they would not bring the cost of freights.  In 1855 Mr. Goodman left San Francisco for Napa, where he engaged in mercantile business as a member of the firm of Hart & Company.  Their trade was very extensive, reaching as far as Clear Lake, in Lake County.  At that time there was much wheat raised in the Napa Valley region, while Berryessa and other valleys were large producers of stock, and Napa was the shipping and supply point.  Everything was hauled by ox teams, many of which had come across the plains from the East.  He continued in the mercantile business until 1859, when he engaged in banking, as a partner of his brother, under the firm name of James H. Goodman & Co., private bankers.  This was the first bank established in Napa County.  Money was worth three per cent, per month, and profitable use could be made of it even at that figure.  He has remained in this business since that time, and continuously on the same block.  In consequence of the death of James H. Goodman, in 1888, the firm was changed to a corporation, under the name of the James H. Goodman & Co. Bank, with $500,000 incorporated stock and $300,000 paid-up capital.

 In 1861 Mr. Goodman took the place of the County Treasurer elect, who went to Virginia just previous to the breaking out of the war and failed to return.  After serving out Mr. Wood’s unexpired term, he filled the office by successive re-election for a period of almost nine years, when he declined further nominations.  He has always been a member and liberal supporter of the Presbyterian Church.  Both he and his brother James H. contributed largely to the building of their fine edifice, costing over $30,000, fully half of this amount being furnished by these gentlemen.  They were also largely interested in building the gasworks of that city, owning much of the stock, and were the principal promoters of the Napa City Water Company, furnishing to a large extent the means necessary to its successful development.

He was married in 1860, to Miss Carrie A. Jacks, a native of New York, and the daughter of Judge P. Jacks, of Napa.  They have two children, -Harvey P., now engaged in the bank as Vice-President, and George E. Jr., also connected with the bank as a Teller.  Mr. Goodman has always been a supporter of the Republican party.  He is largely interested in the Eshcol vineyard and wine cellar, and, from his position as a large capitalist and the leading banker of the place, is naturally an important factor in all its business interests, while his broad and liberal views and his generous assistance in the promotion of large enterprises have given him a powerful and wide-spread influence throughout this section of the State.

 D. B. HURLBERT.-We mention here one of the oldest citizens of Madison, a farmer and stock-raiser of Yolo County, who once owned the land upon which the flourishing village of Madison now stands.  For the purpose of starting the town, he donated the land there to those who would properly improve it.  He located here in 1865, coming from New York State, where he was born in 1811.  His journey across plain and mountain was a specially difficult one.  He visited a number of localities and several cities, but concluded that California was the best of all, and hither he came, in 1851, with his own team.  He first stopped in Hangtown, from 1851 to 1854; then he retuned to Wisconsin, and located upon a farm with his family.  Subsequently he sold that place and resided nine years in Minnesota.  Starting then for California, he lost all of his cattle on the way, and he went off into Montana for a time, and since then he has been a resident of his present place in Yolo County, landing here November 13, 1865.  He purchased 844 acres, sixty-three of which he gave for the village of Madison; and he also has given to his two sons a ranch, to one a quarter-section, and to the other 391 acres.  He still holds the home place of 413 acres, his residence being one-fourth of a mile from the village of Madison.  He is successful in raising large quantities of fine wheat and cattle.  He is a member of Knights Templar, Masonic blue lodge, and the I.O.O.F.

In 1846, in Wisconsin, he married Margaret Ream, and they have tow children, - Charles M. and George R.  Mr. Hurlbert’s parents were Daniel and Sybil (Martin) Hurlbert, natives of Connecticut.  His father, a farmer, died in the State of New York.

 C. M. DAMERON, a farmer and stock raiser of Yolo County, was born in 1832 in East Tennessee, the son of Felix J. and Mary (Damarel) Dameron.  His father, a native of North Carolina, and a horse-trader by occupation, died in 1848, in Cobb County, Kentucky; and his mother was a native of East Tennessee.  The Damerons were French Huguenots and came over in the same ship with the Dupuys, Tribins and Clays, settling in Virginia and North Carolina in 1700.  Mr. Dameron’s mother was from Scotland.  The subject of this notice came overland to California in 1854, with a party of friends, some of whom are still living in his neighborhood.  He worked his way by driving stock.  Stopping first in Marysville, he followed mining and lumbering in that vicinity and in Butte County for two years, and in 1856 he settled upon his present place, where he took up 160 acres of the best land.  He now has 640 acres of well improved land, whereon he raises grain principally and some live-stock.

In 1864, in Woodland, he married one of the ladies who came across the plains with him, Miss Mary Browning, a native of Monroe County, Kentucky, and they have tow children living: Rowena and Charles F.; Montie B. died in 1879.

 BENTON V. CRUMRINE, one of the successful and energetic farmers of this county, is a native of Washington County, Pennsylvania, born November 20, 1849, the son of Abraham and Sarah A. (Boyd) Crumrine:  the former is a native of Pennsylvania, and a millwright by trade, and the latter is a native of Virginia, who moved to Putnam County, Illinois, in 1856.  In 1862 the subject of this sketch enlisted in the regular army, the Sixteenth Regiment of United States Infantry, serving as a private soldier nearly three years.  He then re-enlisted in the Second United States Infantry, serving until after the close of the war, and during his army service he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant-Major of his regiment, and was honorably discharged at Livingston, Alabama, in 1867.  After his return to Illinois he engaged in the milling business with his father and brother.  In 1872 he sold his interest to his brother and associated himself with the coal mines of Bureau County, Illinois.  In 1875 he sold his interest in the mines and in the following year came by rail to California, locating near Marysville, and engaged in farming on the Feather River.  This enterprise proved a failure, caused by the overflow of the river for two years in succession, inundating his farm and entirely destroying his crops both years.  Nothing daunted, however, he looked around to mend his fortune, and in the fall of 1877 he came to Tehama County, landing here without a dollar, but by hard work he has come to the surface, and now resides on his farm of 200 acres, located in the foothills twelve miles west of Corning, where he carries on farming and stock-raising.

Mr. Crumrine was married in La Salle County, Illinois, October 1, 1872, to Miss Ellen R. Barr, whose father was one of the early settlers on the Vermillion River, that State.  They have four children: Romeyn E., Mabel H., Burrett and Ralph O.  Politically Mr. Crumrine affiliates with the Democratic party, and takes an active part in political matters.  He has represented his party in the State and also in County conventions, and at the last election was their candidate for State Assemblyman.  He is a prominent member of the G. A. R., and affiliates with the F. & A. M., Moline Lodge, No. 150, and also the A. O. U. W., No. 187, of Tehama.

 JOHN SIMPSON.-Among the prominent and progressive men in the business circles of Tehama for the past thirty-five years is a gentleman whose name heads this sketch.  He was born in Dumfries, Scotland, March 22, 1837, the son of John and Robinia (Craik) Simpson, who were of Scotch parentage and emigrated to the United States in 1838, locating in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, where our subject was reared and educated.  He afterward learned the blacksmith and machinist’s trades, which he followed until 1856, when he came via Panama to California, remaining in San Francisco but a short time.  He then came to Tehama and took charge of the shoeing department and repair shops of the old California Stage Company, remaining in their employ until 1868.  Mr. Simpson then became the partner of Charles Harvey, now deceased, in 1869, of which firm A. G. Toombs became the third partner, and they conducted a general merchandise business under the firm name of Harvey, Simpson & Company.  In 1873 Mr. Simpson with drew from the firm, taking as his interest the town water-works, which the firm then owned and controlled.  His next enterprise was the establishing of an extensive hardware and tin business, carrying a large assortment of crockery, glass, wood and willow ware, also agricultural implements of all kinds.  His store is located at the head of Main street, where he owns one of the best appointed and most complete establishments in this section of the county, carrying a stock the year round of $25,000.

Since Mr. Simpson located in Tehama he has been prominently identified with the growth and prosperity of the town and county: has now in the course of construction, at the head of Main street, a large tank about sixty-two feet above the town level, with a capacity of 20,000 gallons of water, which is intended principally for fire emergencies and he has also two tanks of small capacity for supplying the town with water.  The supply drawn from the Sacramento River by steam power is inexhaustible.  In addition to his business property he is the possessor of a fine residence, with beautiful and well-kept grounds, and many choice varieties of citrus and deciduous fruits, under a high state of cultivation.  Mr. Simpson is one of Tehama’s enterprising and public-spirited men.  Has represented the county in the Legislature in 1873-’74, and was appointed County Supervisor by Governor Stoneman in 1884.  His sons, John and George, are employed with him in business and now have charge of Wells, Fargo & Company’s express and postal telegraph system of Tehama.

Mr. Simpson was joined in wedlock at Carbondale, Pennsylvania, September 3, 1856, with Miss Jennette McNeal, a native of the Keystone State and of Scotch parentage.  They have six children, of whom four are deceased.  Politically Mr. Simpson is a Democrat and takes an active part in the local matters and also affiliates with the F. & A. M., Moline Lodge, No. 150, and the A. O. U. W., Tehama lodge No. 187, of Tehama.

 GEORGE W. TABER, a farmer of Capay Valley, Yolo County, being one of the old settlers there, was born in 1847, the son of Lorenzo and Eveline (Painter) Taber.  His father, a shoemaker by trade, died in Capay, February 10, 1878, and his mother died at the same place, August 22, 1883.  Mr. Taber came across the plains in 1852 to California, with the family, and they stopped in Sacramento, and the father ran a hotel in the foothills during the fall of 1861 and winter following.  After residing there six years in Oregon he became the proprietor of a fine ranch in Capay Valley, which is still the homestead occupied by the subject of his sketch, who is well and favorably known through the valley for his good qualities.  The farm contains 340 acres of well improved land, within three miles of Capay, and his principal product is grain.

August 14, 1882, in Woodland, Mr. Taber married Mrs. Catherine J. Harley, and their children are: Jennie, the wife of Lee Wood, a farmer in the valley; Allen and Yuba. 


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

Transcribed by Carol Andrews, 04 October 2008 - Pages 436 - 464


Site Created: 05 October 2008

Martha A Crosley Graham

Rights Reserved: 2008