History of Northern California

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HENRY SEAMAN, a prominent farmer five miles west of Winters, Yolo County, was born October 12, 1826, in Prussia. His parents, Jacob and Catherine (Jacobs) Sea­man, natives- also of Prussia, emigrated in 1837 to Cincinnati, Ohio, and the next year to Indiana, where be died in 1845; he was a farmer most of his days. Henry's mother died when he was very young. As he grew up he was first employed in a general store, from 1837 to 1847. In 1858 he came across plain and moun­tain to California, with ox teams, and for the first seven years lie was a resident of Sacra­mento: ten months of this time he was clerk in the Bee-Hive Hotel. In 1859 he purchased a ranch on Putah Creek, in Solano County. His place now contains 2,000 acres, fifty acres of which are in orchard. He has also been a very extensive stock-raiser. In 1890 he bought a nice residence,--a house and four lots—in Winters, where also he is raising some very fine fruit.

He was united in marriage in Sacramento, in 1858, to Miss Peredes, a native of Chili, who died in 1864. The next year, in Suisun City, Mr. Seaman married Ellen Ryan, a native of Ireland, born November 15, 1837. Their only child, Henry, was born August 19, 1866, and died in 1875. [Page 662]


WILLIAM RUSSELL, a prominent farmer between Winters and Madison, in Yolo County, was born April 17,1831, in Ohio County, Kentucky, being a son of J. G. and Mary (Dudley) Russell, natives of that State. At the age. of seventeen years he
came to
California, landing in San Francisco in May, 1852, and worked in the gold mines until autumn, when he settled upon a ranch on Willow Slough, near Woodland, and lived there until 1856, when he settled upon the place where he now resides. In 1864 he took a trip to Oregon, Nevada and Montana, spending one season on the journey; and in 1886 he visited his old Kentucky home, in, company with his brother Samuel. His ranch, containing 160 acres, is situated between Winters and Madison and con­sists of very fine land, well improved. He has twenty-three acres in figs, fifty in oranges and twenty-five in other kinds of fruit, besides three acres in grapes. He is continuing to improve the farm by planting fruits of all kinds, and the time is not distant when his farm will be truly a garden spot. It is so peculiarly situated that fruit ripens here three or four days sooner than in any other part of the State.

He was married September 17, 1874, to Miss Susan Wilson, who was born in Missouri, June 25, 1841, a daughter of Joseph A. and Mary J. (Dairing) Wilson; natives of North Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. Russell's children are: Susan M., born July 18, 1875; James W., February 16, 1877; and Florence, December 26, 1878. [Page 663]


FRANCIS E. RUSSELL, a farmer between Winters and Davisville, Yolo County, was born October 7, 1824, in Canada, a son of Peter and Abigail (May) Russell, both natives of that dominion, who passed their lives there, except eight or ten years in Vermont. At the age of fourteen years young Russell went to Vermont, and in 1849 sailed from Boston for California on the ship Herculean, coming around Cape Horn and arriving in San Francisco May 3, following. The first season he was engaged in gold-mining, and then settled on grant land in Suisun Valley. In the fall of 1853 he sold out his interest there, went to Vaca Valley, Solano County, and bought apiece of grant land, which he held and occupied until the autumn of 1858. He sold out again and bought 396 acres of the Wolfskill grant, where he now lives. He has increased his landed estate to 800 acres. In 1868 he erected a fine large residence, both beautiful and comfortable.

He was married in Vacaville, September 25, , 1856, to Miss Lucy C. Ogburn, a native of Texas, and a daughter of John C. and Mary M. (Love) Ogburn; her father was a native of Vir­ginia, and a physician, and her mother was a native of Tennessee. Mr. and Mrs. Russell have five children, living: Cornelius E., born June 13, 1858; Mary A., August 31, 1861; Charlie F., born November 25, 1864, and died September 10, 1869; William 0., born June 1, 1867; Lucy L., born July 3, 1869, died October 9, 1872; Frank E., born September 25, 1875; and Lulu M., March 20, 1882. [Page 663 -664]


THOMAS J. MAXWELL, a farmer at Winters, Yolo County, was born in Madison County, Kentucky, January 3, 1815, His father, Thomas Maxwell, was among the first settlers of Kentucky, moving to Madison County, Missouri, in 1825, where he died March 18, 1826. His mother, who was a Miss Gardes, was born on the Potomac River and died in 1862, in Madison County, Missouri. The first school that she ever attended was at the house of General Washington. The subject of this sketch lived with his parents in Mis­souri until 1856, when he came overland to Cali­fornia, landing near Cacheville, Yolo County, and took up a tract of land which proved to be upon a grant. He accordingly abandoned it, moved to Buckeye, bought a claim and built there the first store in the place, and also held the office of Postmaster from 1857 to 1859. He then disposed of his ranch and store and went into the hills with a band of stock and afterward disposed of his stock, and he now lives in Winters, retired from active business. He is the proprietor of 500 acres of good land, seven acres of which are set out in fruit.

He was married December 8, 1836, in Cooper County, Missouri, to Miss Rhoda Campbell, who was born February 4, 1817, in Tennessee, the daughter of James B. and Nellie (Stevens) Campbell, both natives of Virginia. Their children are: J. O., born May 26, 1838; Susan F., born January 14, 1848, and is now the wife of R. York; and Thomas J., born January 20, 1856. [Page 664 - 665]


WILLIAM J. DE FRIES, M. D., a physi­cian and surgeon of Woodland, is a son of John William and Susanna (Her­genga) De Fries, natives of Monroe County, New York. His father was born August 31, 1816, graduated at Leyden, Holland, Europe, when twenty-two years of age; was a physician by profession, and died in Paineville Center, New York, in 1817; and the subject's mother, who was born September 15, 1818, died in 1871.

Dr. De Fries was born February 5, 1841, in Monroe County, New York, and at the age of twenty-one years graduated at the Leyden Medi­cal College of Holland. He then went to Tippe­canoe, Indiana, where he entered the service of the Second Indiana Cavalry, in 1863, enlisting as a surgeon. Serving until 1866 in this capacity, he entered the corresponding department in the regular army. While in the volunteer service he • was shot several times. His nervous system at length becoming somewhat affected, he was trans­ferred to the position of Veterinary Surgeon, and served as such from 1867 until 1880. He then practiced his profession as surgeon on the Sand­wich Islands three years, and in 1884 he located in Petaluma, California, for one year, when lie finally came to Woodland, where he enjoys a supremacy in the surgical practice of the county. He takes great pride in his profession.

June 15, 1882, in the Sandwich Islands, the Doctor married Miss Valmena Boremann, a native of Bremen, Germany, born there in 1861, and they have had five children, viz.: John William, born in 1883, and died the next year; Wilhelmine M., September 20, 1885; Fredie L., February 17, 1887; and Bertie, De­cember 21, 1888. [Page 665]


G W. GOULD, one of the. prominent agriculturists of Yolo County, was born in  that county, in 1858. His parents were Samuel and Mary Ann (O'Conners) Gould, early settlers of this State. His father was born in the State of Maine and lost his life in 1877, possibly in being drowned in the Sacra­mento River. He was a well and favorably known citizen of Sacramento Valley. Mrs. Gould, the, mother, was born in Ireland, and she is still living in Woodland, at the age of sixty-eight years. Mr. Gould, whose mime commences this paragraph, has a farm of 160 acres four miles from Woodland, where he raises wheat, barley, live-stock, etc.

His wife, ?bee Hattie Griffith, was born also in this county, and they were married in Cache-vine. Their two children are: Mabel and Abraham. [Page 667]


R. YORK, a farmer of Yolo County, and at present one of the Supervisors,  is the son of Meredith and Martha (Browning) York. His mother was born in Kentucky in 1805, and died in 1887. His father, born in Tennessee in 1800, was a farmer and a minister of the Christian Church, and died in 1851. Mr. York, our subject, was born in Clay County, Tennessee, in 1839, and came to Woodland in 1859, where he received most of his schooling. At the present time, 1890, he is a County Supervisor from the fifth district, being elected January 1, 1889. The same year he erected a beautiful residence upon his farm, which comprises 320 acres of well improved land, and whereon the principal product is wheat

Mr. York, November 3, 1867, married Susan Maxwell, a native of Cooper County, Missouri. and the names of their children are: Mattie, Rhoda, William N. and Ella. Another child, Maud, died March 29,1884. [Page 669]


J S. TUTT, a prosperous farmer of  Yolo County, is the son of Philip and Catherine Tutt. His father, a native of Culpeper County, Virginia, followed school teaching to 1835, and then moved to Cooper County, Missouri, where he was County Surveyor for six­teen years, and where he died in 1871; and the mother, native also of Culpeper County, Vir­ginia, died in Cooper County, Missouri.

Mr. Tutt, the subject of this notice, was born in Fanquier County, Virginia, in 1836, and when he was nine years of age he was taken by his parents to Cooper County, Missouri. In 1849 he came overland to California, reaching Hangtown August 15. He followed mining there during the ensuing autumn, and then went to Nevada City, where he continued mining • until the next spring. - Going there to Sacra­mento, he had the position of turnkey of the county jail for a time, and then he returned to Nevada City and remained there until 1853; he then moved into Yolo County, where he has improved 260 acres of fine land, on which he raises live-stock and grain, and all the fruit necessary for home consumption. He is a mem­ber of Landmark Lodge, No. 153, F. & A. M., and also of Madison Lodge, No. 150, 0. C. F.

In 1857, in Yolo County, he married Miss Mary E. Gordon, and they have six children: Elizabeth, William L., Susan, Thomas, Hattie and Kate. [Page 669 - 670]


J B. EVERETT, a farmer of Capay,Yolo County, is the son of P. G. and Sarah (Disbrow) Everett. His father, a native of Pennsylvania, 
and his mother, of New York State, came to California in 1864, settling at Lincoln, Placer County, and one year afterward located on 
Cache Creek, Yolo County, and finally moved into the Capay Valley, in 1866, where they both died, — the latter in 1882, and the 
former in 1887, at the home of their son, the subject of this sketch. 
Mr. Everett was born in 1857, in Hancock County, Illinois, and came with his parents to California. He now has 1,200 acres of grain 
and fruit land, on which he raises principally grain and live-stock. He is a member of Capay Lodge, No. 230, I. O. O. F. 
He was married in 1879 to Eliza Hughes, a native of Alabama, and their children are: Ivy E., Mary E., Mabel F. and Florence. A 
fifth child, Irene, is deceased. 
JAMES RIDLEY, a farmer north of Black's, Yolo County, was born May 27, 1818, in Bledsoe County, Tennessee, a son of William 
and Margaret (Maxwell) Ridley, natives also of that State. At the age of sixteen years he went to Alabama, and resided there until 
1835, when he moved to the northern part of Missouri. In 1861 he came with ox teams to California, locating immediately in Yolo 
County and renting land of Charles Barnes, the first year, and the next year (1863) he purchased the place where he now resides, 
three miles north of Black's. It embraces 163 acres of excellent land. 
He was married in 1835 to Miss Louisa Shumate, a native of Tennessee. Their ten children are: James T., Thomas, William, Margaret,
 Louisa, Francis, Mary, Larate, Ella and Susie.  [Page 670]

DANIEL F. HOUX, a farmer near Black's, Yolo County, was born December 7, 1845, in Johnson County, Missouri, a son. of Leonard and Sarah (Tebbs) Houx, natives of Kentucky, and old-time settlers of California, coining in 1852. Daniel's uncle was captain of the train coming overland, and he being well acquainted with the features of the route, they were only about three months on their way. After remaining in Washington about a month, they moved up upon the place of Mr. E. G. Berger, camped there about two weeks and then went to the place of the above-mentioned uncle and followed farming there the ensuing winter. During the next autumn they returned and settled on a place where the subject of this sketch is now residing, and has occupied it ever since 1853.

The subject of this sketch attended business college in San Francisco and school at Vaca­ville; 1873—'86 was engaged in farming in Colusa County, and then bought out the heirs of the old homestead. The place now contains 160 acres of excellent land, being situated three-fourths of a mile east of Black's. In the spring of 1877 he built upon this place a fine residence.

He was married in Arbuckle, Colusa County, August 29, 1878, to Miss Lucinda F. Maupin, a native of Humboldt County, California, and they have two children living and one deceased, namely: Minnie M., born April 5, 1881, and Royal R., July 6, 1886. The deceased is Lulu M. [Page 670 - 671]


H H. SLAVENS, dry-goods merchant at Woodland, is the son of H. and Lydia (Goodman) Slavens. His father, a native of Kentucky, and a farmer and drover, died in Iowa in 1869; and his mother, born in Indiana, is still living in Ottumwa, Iowa. In 1855 Mr. Slavens, when seventeen years of age, came to California, landing first at Stockton, where he worked at odd jobs, mostly farm work, until lie came in 1883 to Woodland, where he has since been successfully engaged in mercantile busi­ness. For several years he was on Main street; but the present year, 1890, he opened a dry- goods and clothing store opposite the old stand and near the Capital Hotel. The establishment is now known as the Star Clothing House, and they carry a large stock of fancy goods and are well known throughout the county:

Mr. Slavens was married in 1881, to Emma Canion, who was born in Santa Clara County, and their two children are: Harold, aged five years, and Effie, one year. [Page 676]


HERMAN KUHN, a  tinner at Woodland, is the son of Stephen and Katharine Kuhn,  both natives of Germany; the father died in that country in 1864, and the mother is still living in Sacramento, at the age of sixty-seven years. Mr. Kuhn was born in Germany, in 1851, and at the age of seventeen years emigrated to America, landing at New York city, and thence he came by water to California, landing in San Francisco in 1867. He then learned the trade of tinner of D. Wyman, on J street, between Ninth and Tenth, Sacramento; and after work­ing there three years he moved to Woodland and was employed by C. D. Morin, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume; and after working for him three years he entered partner­ship with C. Rosenkrans in the tinware trade, and at the end of two years he purchased ,the interest of his partner, and since has conducted the business alone; he enjoys a good patron­age. He has held the office of Constable two years; is a member of Lodge No. 24, 0. C. F., and of Woodland Lodge, No. 43, K. of P.

He was first married to Lizzie Hummer, in 1875, who died in 1878, leaving two children, —Herman and Willie. He was married the second time to Lydia Bower; a native of Ger­many, and they have three children,--Lydia, Josie and Atilio. [Page 676]


P PALMER, sexton of the Woodland Cemetery, is the son of Alvia and Rhoda (Bordman) Palmer, natives of New York State; his father died when the son was nine years old, and the mother is still living in Sanders County, New Brunswick, at the age of seventy-eight years. The subject of this brief sketch was born in Marion County, Ohio, No­vember 18, 1837, and was ten years of age when his widowed mother moved with him to Michigan, where he received three months schooling. After a residence there of ten years, he moved to Illinois and lived there eight years; then resided for a short time in New Brunswick, and finally, in 1880, he came to California, since which time he has resided mostly in Yolo County. He has 160 acres of land near Madison, and he has had the situation of sexton of the present cemetery six years. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary E. Flem­ing, is a native of Pennsylvania, and they were married in 1860, in Mercer County, Illinois. Their two living children are: Adelia A. and Robert C., and there are two deceased, Charles and Harry. Mr. Palmer is a member of Graf­ton Lodge, I. 0. 0. F., of Lodge No. 215, A. 0. U. W., and Post No. 65, G. A. R. [Page 677]


WILLIAM HAYS, a prominent farmer near Madison, Yolo County, was born in Monroe County, Kentucky, in 1838. His father Jacob Hays, was all his life a farmer, and is still living, in Woodland; and his mother, whose maiden name was Nancy Rhiraid, died in Davis County, Missouri, whither the family had moved in 1847.

In 1855 Mr. Hays went to Iowa, remaining there ten Months- and then started for California without a dollar, working his way through by driving cattle, and reaching Sacramento in September, 1856. He at once went to Sonoma County and worked at odd jobs for a year, and similarly in other counties until 1860, by which time he had two horses. He then rented a piece of good farming land in Yolo County, and cultivated it until 1868, when he came to the place where he now resides, three miles west of Madison, and where he has 620 acres of well-improved land and raises grain and live­stock; has some very fine horses.

 He was first married in Yolo County in 1867, to Miss Albinia Cloyed, and they had four children, all of whom are living. By his second marriage Mr. Hays was united with Miss Melissa White, in Yolo County, in 1878, and they have had one child, now deceased. The chil­dren living are Albertie and Albert, twins, Alice G. and Inowa N. Mr. Hays is a member of Madison Lodge, No. 135, F. & A. M. [Page 679 - 680]


ELIAS SEABOLD, a prominent fanner,  three and a half miles west of Madison, Yolo County, has 465 acres there, upon which he raises wheat and barley. He was born in Hesse-Cassel, Germany, October 5; 1827. His parents, Nicholas and Elizabeth (Zindel) Seahold, natives of the father-land, died when he was a small boy. At the age of twenty years he came to America, landing at New Orleans, and at once went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he remained a year and a half, then he spent six months at Quincy, Illinois; and then he came to California, in 1850, stopping at Placerville, having been four months and a half on the journey. He followed mining for some time in the neighborhood of Placerville, spent three months in Sacramento, then mined five months on the Salmon River, returned to Sacramento again with the intention of going East; but on arriving there he changed his mind, concluding that if other people could stand it here he could. Accordingly, he bought a team in Sacramento and went to freighting, following that business from October, 1851 to 1867; he then entered Yolo County, where he has since remained, pur­chasing that yelr the place which he still occupies. For his wife he married Ellen Kegan, who was born .in Ireland in 1837, their marriage taking place in Placer County, January 29, 1859. Their children are: Elizabeth J., who was born in March, 1872, and Annie S., who was born in March, 1874. [Page 680]


F C MEZGER, proprietor of the bakery and restaurant in Woodland, was born in Europe, in 1846, and in 1856 he was brought to America, landing at New York city, Within seven years he learned his trade in the Pine Bakery, and then came by water to San Francisco, in 1866, and a short time afterward to Yolo County, where he. was first engaged upon a ranch for three years; and then lie went to Woodland, worked for Otto Sloan. Four­teen years afterward lie bought the place on Main Street in Woodland, which he now oc­cupies, near the Bank of Woodland. He mar­ried Mary Oriner, who was born in 1870, and they have six children:. Otto C., Max J., Bertha M., Harry, Ernest and Lawrence.  [Page 680]


WILLIAM H. FISHER is one of Red Bluff 's promising young men. He is a native of Ontario, Canada, born June 23, 1864. His parents, John and Frances (Bishop) Fisher, were natives of England, and were the parents of three children, of whom he is the youngest. The family removed to Iowa, where the subject of this sketch was educated, and where the father died. William H. and his mother subsequently engaged in the restaurant business. In 1876 they removed to Minnesota, continuing in the same business there. They sold out in 1884 and came to California, locat­ing in Red Bluff. For two and a half years Mr. Fisher clerked, first for Mr. J. S. Daven­port and later for Mr. Rolla Fuller. He then bought out Mr. Davenport and succeeded him in business. He has a fine location and an ex­tensive trade, his business extending out thirty miles from the city.

Mr. Fisher is a member of the I. 0. 0. F. Politically he is a Republican. His parents were Methodists. He, however, is not a member of any church. He is an intelligent and prac­tical business young man, and enjoys the confidence of his patrons and all who know him. [Page 681]


FRANK HLIDER, hardware merchant at Woodland, was born in Germany, in 1851, and is now a true and honest citizen of Woodland, prospering in his trade and having a large establishment. He settled there from San Francisco in August, 1809; he had come to San Francisco from Germany ten years previ­ously and learned his trade there, namely, that of tinsmith. His parents, Christ and Johanna (Konig) Hider, were natives of Germany. His father was a baker by trade, and died in Germany, at the age of sixty-four years, in 1870; and his mother died in 1874, at the age of sixty-five. Mr. Frank Hider married Miss Therese Bottcher in Germany, in 1874, and their children are Emily, Frank, Adele, and Hattie. Mr. Hider is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 24, K. of P., and of Woodland Lodge, No. 43, 0. C. F. [Page 681]


G J. GAREY, a farmer and stock-raiser on Cache Creek, in Yolo County, is the son of William and Sarah (Glower) Garey. His father was born on the eastern shore of Maryland, in'1801; was a brick-mason by trade; put up the first brick building in St. Louis, Missouri; came to California in 1849, and was engaged in farming most of his life-time on Cache Creek until a few years before his death, which took place in December, 1888. G. J.'s mother, a few years younger than his father, died in the same place.

The subject of this sketch was born in Iowa in 1837, and came overland to California in- 1852, stopped at Bidwell's Bar, Butte County, where he mined for two years. Afterward he came to Yolo County, and in 1870 settled on Cache Creek. where he has since remained, raising grain and stock. His home ranch contains 141 acres of well improved land; and he also has 500 acres of grazing land, on which he pastures 400 cattle. He is not yet married; is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 81, F. & A. M., and also of Chapter No. 46. [Pages 681 - 682]


ALFRED .BURKMAN, superintendent of the brick department of the Union Press Brick and Terra Cotta Company of San Francisco--whose works are situated at Vallejo—has been engaged in the manufacture of brick for the past nine years. Born in Landskrona, Sweden, in 1850, he attended the public schools up to the age of fifteen years; then, until nineteen, he was learning the machinist's trade, and then commenced traveling as a journeyman, working in machine shops in Germany three years, Vienna one year, Constantinople three years, various cities in Asia, then Greece, Italy and Switzerland. Then, after spending three years in his native country, he came, in 1879, to the United States, and for three years was employed in machine shops in Chicago, especially in the machinery department of the Anderson Pressed-Brick Company; and while there he invented a number of improvements, taking out five patents, three of which were for reducing the various kinds of clay to fine powder, and two for a brick-pressing machine for pressing the dry clay into brick; and some of his devices were used by the Anderson Company. In November, 1886, he removed to the Pacific coast, first locating at Los Angeles, where he was engaged by a pressed-brick company; and while there be invented another reducer and an improved brick-pressing machine, for which he received patents.

 His machine is now used by the Los Angeles company and by the works at Vallejo. These bricksare intended more for ornamental , purposes than anything else, selling for $40‘ per thousand, while the ordinary brick sells for about $10.

However, by means of the machinery invented by Mr. Burkman, brick can be made by the dry process, not so finely finished, and consequently not requiring expensive labor, that could be sold almost as cheaply as the fine-finished brick and that would stand four times the pressure. The brick made by the common process require drying for a number of days and additional handling, while brick made by Mr. Burkman's process are ready for the kiln immediately. Mr. Burkman is now superintendent of the brick department of these works and a stock­holder. The establishment has a capacity of 12,000 bricks in ten hours, and it can be easily enlarged to double its present capacity.

 Mr. Burkman was married in Chicago, in 1880, to Miss Mary Jones, a native of Sweden, who died in 1885, leaving one child, Werner. Mr. Burkman is a member of the First. Swedish Lodge, No. 479, I. 0. 0. F., of Chicago. He still retains stock in the Los Angeles Pressed- brick and Terra Cotta Company.[Pages 682 - 683]


GEORGE CAHILL, a merchant tailor of Lakeport, was born in Kingstown, Ireland, November 1, 1840. When he was ten years old, he went to London, England, where he learned the tailor's trade. In.1858 he came. to New York city, where he worked at his trade as a journeyman for several years. About the year 1856 he went to Chicago and engaged on his own account in the merchant-tailoring business, where he was very successful. In 1871 he was burned out by the great fire, by which he lost about $15,000. In 1872 he came to California and engaged in business in San Fran­cisco, where he remained about one year. He then went to, Eureka, Humboldt County, where he engaged in the tailoring business for -seven or eight years. He then went back to San Fran­cisco, where he worked for one year, and finally came to Lake County and engaged in the merchant-tailoring business. He carries about $2,000 worth of. stock, employing four hands, and is one of the successful business men of Lakeport. He owns real estate in the .town of Lakeport valued at $7,000, and $1,000 worth in Kelseyville. He is a member of the order of the Iron Hall, and also of the Chosen Friends. [Pages 682 - 683]


JOHN ABSHIER, foreman of Goble Bros.' ranch, in Yolo County, is a son of Elizur and Mary (Reed) Abshier, natives of Iowa. His father, a farmer, came to California in 1863. He had four children, of whom John is the youngest. He was born in Lee County, Iowa, in 1863, and was but five months old when his parents crossed the plains to this State, and ever since then he has been a resident of Woodland, of which place also the Goble Broo. are residents. He has always followed agricultural pursuits, and in 1885 took charge of their ranch of 160 acres, where he raises clover prin­cipally. His wife, whose maiden name was Parr, is a native of this State, born in 1853, and they have two children,—Leroy and Lenora. [Page 683]


EDWARD VON PESSL is the intelligent and gentlemanly superintendent of the Schramsburg wine cellars, Napa County. He is a native of Bavaria, Germany, born on the 2d of April, 1862, a son of Edward and Eva (Schiefftnann) Von Pessl. Commencing his education in the government schools of his native land, he received their training until fourteen years old, then attended college at Amberg for five years, and was graduated in 1881.

In 1883 he came to the United States, and to Napa Valley, California, direct from New Or­leans. Having selected the wine business as his•field of operation and determined to learn it omits fundamental principles up, he entered the employ of Mr. Schram as a workman in the vineyard. He next went into the 'cellar, and was placed in charge thereof in 1887. There is no detail in cellar handling of the Schramsburg wines that does not receive the benefit of his intelligent supervision, and some of the credit for their great reputation must be conceded him. Mr. Von Pessl has a ranch of his own in Douglas County, Oregon, near Ross- burg, comprising 250 acres, which is operated by his brother John.

 Hosts of visitors to the Schram vineyards and cellars are under obligations to Mr. Von Pessl for courtesies and kindness shown them there. [Page 683]


WILLIAM D. CLARK, a prominent citizen and physician of Cottonwood, was born in the city of San Francisco, California, October 22, 1863. He is the son of T. P. Clark, a California pioneer, who came around the Horn in the ship Sarah and Eliza, and after a voyage of 213 days arrived in San Francisco September 17, 1849. He was one of the prom­inent members of the Vigilance Committee, which took such an active part in the early days of this State. He was a contractor and builder by trade, having built many of the fine build­ings which now adorn the great and beautiful city of San Francisco. He has also been a prom­inent Mason, being a member of Occidental Lodge of San Francisco, F. & A. M., and has received the thirty-second degree in the order. He is a native of Fairfield, Monroe County, Connecticut, born August 31, 1823. After nearly three years' residence in California he returned to the East, in 1852, via Panama, and in the same year brought his young wife to the Golden State. She was formerly Miss P. Dible, a native of Seymour, Connecticut, and the daughter of Lyman Dible, an early settler of that State. They were the parents of seven children, five girls and two boys. .

 Our subject, the youngest child, was educated in his native city, and in his fourteenth year was obliged on account of poor health to give up his studies and go to the country for a time. He remained on the ranch of his sister, Mrs. B. E. Davidson, of Capay Valley, until he recovered his health; and then. returned to the, city and resumed his studies. He spent a year at the high school, under the charge of Professor William T. Reid, when sickness again com­pelled him to give up study. In 1879 he took a course in the California Business College, and after receiving his diploma he went into the office of Dr. William F. Hale, one of San Fran­cisco's most prominent physicians. In 1881 he entered the Medical Department of the Univers­ity of California, finished the course in 1884, and at once engaged in practice. In 1885 he removed to Cottonwood, Shasta County, where he built and stocked the first drug store in the town, which he conducted in connection with his general practice.

 In 1888 Dr. Clark married Miss Lillie Sim­mons of San Francisco, a graduate of the Nor­mal School. She and the Doctor, with other young business men of the place, are doing what they can to build up and improve their town. The Doctor has been an industrious student, and takes a deep interest in surgery. He has been very successful in his practice, and enjoys the confidence, respect and patronage of many of the best citizens of Cottonwood and the sur­rounding country. He is a bright, pleasing and talented gentleman, interested in his State and county, and always holds himself in readi­ness to help any enterprise that has for its ob­ject healthy growth and improvement. He is also Vice President of the Northern Medical Association. [Pages 683 - 684]


J W. BROWN, blacksmith and wagon-maker at Woodland, is a son of Hanford and Keziah (Penn) Brown. His mother, a native of Virginia, is a grand-niece of the celebrated William Penn, and is now living in Rails County, Missouri, at the age of eighty-four years; and her mother lived to the age of 101 years, and her .grandmother to the age of 104 years. For eight years the latter was blind, but four years before her death she recovered her sight so that she could see without glasses. Mr. Brown's father, also a native of Virginia, was a blacksmith by trade and moved to Ralls County, Missouri, in 1828, where he died, in February, 1875.

 The subject of this brief mention was born in New London, Missouri, March 18, 1838. -He arrived in California August 12, 1887, and November 7 following he opened his present shop. His oldest son, William P., is now a partner in the business.

Mr. Brown married Melinda Caldwell, in New London, September 26, 1859, and their children are William P., George A., James H., Eliza L. and Ruth C. [Page 684]


FRED MARTINELLI, a wholesale vegetable dealer of Woodland, was born in Italy, a son of Francisco and Teresa (Contana) Martinelli, and came to San Francisco in 1869. Eight years afterward he moved to Woodland, where he is now conducting a large wholesale and retail vegetable trade, running several wagons throughout the county. He opened his present place in 1887, and is driving a prosperous business. He is a member of the order of Odd Fellows, and has the reputation of being an industrious and honorable citizen. [Page 684]


THOMAS J. ROBBINS, was born in San Antonio, Texas, March 30, 1845. His parents were natives of Tennessee. They were among the early settlers of Texas. In 1847 they moved to Ray County, Missouri, where they remained till 1852. In that year they crossed the plains to California and settled in Sonoma County. In 1868 they returned to Missouri.

Thomas J., the subject of this sketch, re­ceived his education in the public schools of Sonoma County. At the age of seventeen he enlisted in the Second Regiment California

Volunteers, Company D. The regiment ren­dezvoused from September to November, 1861, at San Francisco, awaiting orders. In Novem­ber it was ordered to Fort Collins, near the line of British Columbia. From Fort Collins they returned to San Francisco, and were then ordered to Fort Gaston, Humboldt County, where they remained till 1868, when the regi­ment was ordered to San Francisco for final discharge.

After being discharged, Mr. Robbins traveled over the State for two years, making no per­manent settlement. In 1868 he came to Lake County, where he worked in quicksilver mines for ten years. In 1878 he discovered a valuable compound, which he named " Oil of Orioto," and on which be secured a patent February 24, 1880. This remedy has proved to be very efficacious, in many diseases, both for man and beast, and has become justly celebrated through­out the State. Mr. Robbins was married January 8, 1868, to Miss Hester Ann Good­win, a native of Salt Lake, Utah. They have seven children: Ada, Minnie, Lena, Hila, Hugh, Willie Leroy and Martin. He is a member of Rosseau Post, No. 64, Grand Army of the Republic, located at Kelseyville, Lake County. [Pages 684 - 685]


AUGUST DIENDONNI, a farmer residing in Woodland, is the son of Joseph and Mary (Darras) Diendonni, natives of France. The father died at Knight's Landing, Yolo County, in 1879, at the age of seventy-four years; his mother died in France, in 1854. August was born in the Province of Lorraine, France, and in 1853 came to California around Cape Horn, all the way on a sailing vessel named Sacramento. He at once went into Yuba County and mined for two weeks on Foster Bar; thence he went to Marysville, and from there to Sacramento, where he remained three years, employed as a gardener; he then came to Yolo County, settling in the sink of Cache Creek, where he lived one year. Then he purchased a ranch on the Sacramento Riv6r, which he oc­cupied until 1879, when he moved to Woodland, in 1883, and purchased his present place, adjoining the grounds of the Catholic seminary. He still has five acres there and ten acres between Woodland and Cacheville, in grapes.

 He married Mary Alexander, who was born in Sacramento, and they have seven children: Eugene, Josephine, Edmond, Frank W. E., Louis, Mary M. and Charles A. [Page 685]


B. SPAGNOLI, attorney and counselor at law, at Jackson, was born in Pied­mont, Italy, November 13, 1840. He received his education in Italy, France and Switzerland, having finished at Vevay. In 1854 he came with his parents and a younger brother direct to San Francisco, and from there on to Amador County. They first engaged in mining for a few months, after which they opened a store of general merchandise. His father died September 24, 1863, aged fifty-four years, and his mother March 17, 1873, at the age of sixty- six years.

SYLVESTER G. SPAGNOLI, his brother, was born September 22, 1845. and is now Deputy County Clerk, which position he has filled for the past six years.

Louis J., the subject of this sketch was ap­pointed Deputy County Recorder and Auditor of Amador County, , March 1, 1866, which position he held for four years, having been re­appointed in 1868. In 1869 he received the nomination for County Clerk, by the Demo­cratic party, and was elected. In 1871 he was again the nominee of his party for Clerk, but was defeated, the Republicans having elected the entire ticket. In March, 1871, his term of office not having expired, he obtained a leave of absence from the State Legislature, and returned to Italy on a visit to his old home and the scenes of his childhood. On his return he formed a law partnership with Judge R. M. Briggs, with whom he continued in the practice of law till 1876. He was then appointed Deputy County Clerk, which position he held till 1880. He then opened an office and en­gaged in the practice of law till 1884, when he formed a partnership with Judge Curtis H. Lindley. Judge Lindley had been a Superior Judge of Amador County previous to this partnership, having been appointed to fill the unexpired term of Judge George Moore, de­ceased. This partnership lasted for three years. From 1887 to the present time Mr. Spagnoli has conducted the law business alone. In 1871 he was appointed a Notary Public by Governor H. H. Haight, which office he has held uninter­ruptedly to the present time.

 Mr. Spagnoli has been twice married: first to Miss Isabella Bryant, a lady from Maine. They had two children: Sylvester N. D. was born December 14; 1872, and has received a collegiate education in Santa Clara College and is now engaged in the drug business in Jackson. Urbano G. D. was born December 27, 1873, and is now attending school in Jackson. Mrs. Spagnoli died August 8, 1874. In 1882 Mr. Spagnoli was again married, to Miss Ida Bell Kerr, a native of California. They had three children, Lizzie M., Ernest B. D., and Roma V. Mr. Spagnoli is a member of Amador Lodge, No. 60, F. Sz A. M., Sutter Chapter No. 11, and has also taken the Scottish rite, the highest degree in Masonry. He is also a member of Jackson Lodge, No. 138, A. 0. U. W., and Jackson Council, No. 80,,Chosen Friends. He is progressive, energetic, attached to his pro­fession and consequently is successful, and enjoys the confidence and esteem of all who know him. [Pages 685 - 686]


A S. HASKIN, a farmer of Lake County, was born November 11, 1821, in Trimble County, Kentucky. His father was a native of Virginia. A. S. Haskin remained in his native State till 1866. In that year he went to Marion County, Missouri, and in 1868 he went to Saline County of the same State, where he was for twelve years engaged in farm­ing. In 1880 he came to California and settled in Fresno County, where he remained three years. He then went to San Louis Obispo County, where he remained until 1888, when he came to Lake County. He owns 108 acres of excellent land, all under cultivation. It lies about six miles south of Lakeport on the Highland Springs road, and is beautifully located. He raises grain and stock. He was married February 17, 1843, to Miss Lucy Mothersead, a native of Virginia. Her parents moved to Kentucky when she was three years old. They have nine children: Armsted G., America M., Sarah Ann, Narcissa J., Mary E., Octavie C., Or­retta T., Annie Lee, Thomas E. Octavie and An­nie are at home with their parents. The other chil­dren have made homes of their oven. Mr. Raskin was a magistrate for the county in which he lived in Kentucky, for twelve years. Although he has always been actively engaged in farming and other laborious pursuits, time has dealt gently with him, and his present appearance is that of an energetic, middle-aged man, in the prime of life. In politics, Mr. Raskin affiliates with the Democratic Party. [Page 685]


JAMES H. COMBS, a farmer of Lake County, was born in Montgomery County,. Kentucky, December 21, 1832. In 1842 his parents moved to Independence, Missouri. His father died in 1849. In 1850 James H. returned to Mount Sterling, Kentucky, to finish his education. He graduated from the Mt. Sterling Academy, an institution of note in that part of the State, in 1852. In 1853 lie crossed the plains, with ox and mule teams, to California. He first settled in San Ramon Valley, where he remained one year. He then went to San Josê, where he remained about two years.

In 1856 he returned to Missouri, where he remained till 1872. He then returned to California and settled near Redwood City, where he engaged in farming. In the fall of 1875 he came to Lake County and settled in Lakeport, where he resided for two years, not engaging in active business on account of poor health. In 1887 he purchased his present farm, on which he has since resided. He has 140 acres situated about three miles south of Lakeport on the Kelseyville and Highland Springs road. He raises grain and fruit. He has five acres in fruit trees, including a general variety. He is also engaged to some extent in raising horses.

  Mr. Combs was married July 15, 1860, to Miss Elizabeth Marshall, a daughter of. Robert and Elizabeth Marshall, natives of Kentucky. They have six children: Robert Marshall, M. Sue, Carrie II., James H., Jr., Marshall R. and Bessie. Mr. Combs is a member of the A. 0. U. W. [Pages 686 - 687]

 W H. CHAPMAN, residing on Brown's Valley Road, about a mile from Napa, has a ranch of forty-three acres, of which twenty are in orchard, about fourteen in full bearing and six coming into bearing. There are about six acres of cherries, five of peaches, and the remainder in apricots, prunes and a variety of fruits. These were mostly planted by Mr. Chapman, there being two acres of young orchard on the place when he came here in 1867. The rest of the place he planted at dif­ferent times since he came here. He is one of the pioneers, as he arrived in California in December, 1850.

 Mr. Chapman was born in New London, Connecticut, April 5, 1830, was brought up on a farm, and in his twentieth year came to Cali­fornia. Not having the means to pay the large passage fee then required, he managed to secure an opportunity to work for his passage, on the barque Autumn, leaving Connecticut in June and arriving in San Francisco, after a seven months trip around the Horn, in December. For a little more than a year he engaged himself in mining near Mokelumne Hill, Calaveras County. For the next four years he was en­gaged in various pursuits, with varying success. In 1855 he returned to Connecticut, and while - there married Elizabeth Lamb, a native of that State. During the next year he came again to California, by way of Panama, bringing with him eight hives of honey bees,—one half of them throngh successfully. For the first year after that he was engaged in the bee industry, in­creasing his stock largely and then selling and trading them all off for real estate and other property. After a year and a half in California he went again to the East and remained three years on a farm he purchased in Connecticut. About 1860 he returned again to California, where he remained ever since. After engaging in farming in Brown's Valley for a number of years, he in 1869 located on his present place, which he afterward purchased. For six years Mr. Chapman was Road-master of the Brown's Valley road. He is a member of Napa Lodge, No. 18, I. 0. 0. F. His fine residence is sur­rounded by a beautiful grove of evergreen trees and magnificent Monterey cypress hedge.

 By his first marriage Mr. Chapman had six children, who are yet living, namely: Frank N., William E., Emeline, now the wife of Dolorn McCord, of Tulare County; Henrietta, now the wife of William Bartram, of Martinez; Flora, the wife of Mr. Bernard, of Napa, and Georgia now Mrs. Ellworth Leonard of Napa. In 1874, Mr. Chapman was again married, this time to Hannah Christenson, a native- of Norway, and by this marriage there are five children living: Ed­ward, Julia; Lyman, Lena and Hazel. [Pages 687 - 688]


FRANK W. BUSH, whose ranch is situated a mile and a half from Napa, has been a resident of this county for the past thirteen years. The ranch comprises 132 acres, of which thirty-two are in bearing orchard. This is divided into eight acres of peaches, nine of French prunes, eight of Yellow Egg plumbs, two of Italian prunes and five of Oregon. Silver prunes.

 To this Mr. Bush will add six acres more of the last mentioned. This year was the first crop. The peach trees bore heavily for their age—four years—there being about 1,000 boxes of the fruit. Most of these were sold to families in Napa for home canning, as they were of superior quality. The later varieties are shipped to San Francisco, where they brought the highest price in the market, namely, $1 and $1.25 per box, being of especially fine quality. There were only about three tons of prunes and plums in the rest of the orchard. Besides the above there were about four acres in small fruits and family orchard. The remainder of the ranch is devoted to general farming.

Mr. Bush was born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1864, and brought up on his father's farm, which was situated within the city limits, and on which there was an orchard that had been largely cared for by Mr. Bush. He graduated at the commercial college of that town. For about three years he was employed in a pork- packing establishment and then came to Cali­fornia in 1876. The first two months were devoted to looking over California, in which examination he went as far south as San Diego. The result was that he decided to settle in Napa Valley, and accordingly in 1877 he purchased his present ranch. This he conducted as a gen­eral farm until 1885, when he planted out his present orchard. He has been School Trustee in this district for three years.

 His parents were John D. and Anna (Myers) Bush, pioneer settlers in Iowa. In 1876 Mr. Bush married Miss Susie Sullivan, a native of that State,, who died in 1887, leaving five children: Edith, Jennie, Nellie, Frank and Mabel. [Page 688]


S T. KEITHLY, a Lake. County farmer, is a native of Harrison County, Indiana, born April 29, 1836. When he was quite young, his parents moved to McDonough County, Illinois, where his father engaged in farming. In 1860 S. T. came to California and settled in Yolo County, where he remained till 1865. He then went to Sonoma County, where he bought a small farm, on which he lived for ten years. In the fall of 1875 he sold his farm and came to Lake County, and bought the farm on which he now resides. He has 144 acres of land in Big Valley, lying between the Kelseyville road and Clear Lake, which he de­votes to the raising of wheat. He was married February 23, 1865, to• Miss Sarah Ann Peugh.. They have six children: Jacob A., David E., Georgia, Adda, Lem and Lillian A. [Page 688]


ANTHONYCAMINETTI, attorney at law, Jackson, was born near Jackson, Amador County, July 30, 1854. He re­ceived his early education in the public schools of Amador County, after which he graduated in the grammar schools of San Francisco, in 1867. From March 14, 1871, to October, 1873,. he attended the University of California, at Berkeley. His health failing him at this time, he took a position in a store, in which ca­pacity he served about three years. In 1870 he came to Jackson and studied law in the office of J. T. Farley, where he remained till 1877. He was then elected District Attorney, and at the expiration of his term was re-elected for a second term, which expired in 1882. In the fall of that year he was elected to the State Legisla­ture, to represent Amador County. In 1886 he was nominated in joint convention of Amador and Calaveras counties, on the Democratic ticket, for State Senator, and was elected. In 1880 he was an alternate elector on the Hancock and English ticket. In 1888 he was an elector on the Cleveland ticket, and received the 'high­est number of votes of all of the electors on the ticket. He is, a member of the order of Native Sons of the Golden West, and is Past President of Excelsior Parlor, No. 31. Mr. Caminetti was married May 26, to Miss Ella Martin, a native of Tuolumne, County, California. They have two children: Farley Drew and John B.

 Mr. C. is the author of the bill for the erec­tion of a monument to Marshall, the first discoverer of gold in California, and is also president of the commission. He also secured the location for the "Agricultural Experimental Station" for the foot-hill section of California. Ile also introduced the bill, which was passed, locating the Preston School of Industry, a reform school for boys. Mr. Caminetti is strictly Democratic in his political views; is progressive and liberal in his ideas, and consequently has the respect and sup-port of a large number of friends. [Page 688 - 689]



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

Transcribed by Martha A Crosley Graham, 7 October 2008 - Pages: 662 - 689


Site Created: 07 October 2008

Martha A Crosley Graham

Rights Reserved: 2008