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J. J. McINTIRE.-The history of this worthy resident of the Napa Valley is one of the steady, consistent progress, of hard unremitting labor, it is true, yet crowned with success so amply deserved by him. He was born in Ohio, December 24, 1835. When he was but thirteen years of age he had the misfortune to lose his parents, and since that time has had to struggle for himself, making his way from the first. He went to Kentucky and obtained work upon a farm, and continued at it until 1856, when he determined to come to California. He set out with a train of some 100 wagons and a great many head of cattle. There was much trouble on this journey, as the whole plains were covered with outfits and the stock so numerous that the grazing was worth less. Indians, too, were very bad at this time, running off stock at every opportunity. As a result, there was a great deal of dividing and parceling and much loss. At one place Mr. McIntire helped bury three men who had been killed by the Indians. The time consumed on this passage was about four months. Young McIntire, for he was only nineteen, came directly to Napa Valley, and rented land from Mr. Yount, which he farmed, continuing to rent for fifteen years. He then bought his present ranch of 750 acres, and has resided there since, putting up one of the finest residences in the section, surrounded as it is by a splendid grove of trees. He has always been a farmer, attending to his own business and interfering with none. He is a Democrat of decided views, but has never accepted office. He was married February 4, 1864, to Mrs. Elizabeth Walters, in this valley who has since died. He has one son named Henry Clay, after the great statesman. He was born June 16, 1865, and is of the same open and engaging manners as his father.
C. D. HUGHES.-Like so many others of the older citizens of Napa Valley, Mr. Hughes has had a life of unusual activity and incident, one that is well worth both the telling and the hearing. He was born in Gallatin County, Kentucky, in 1819, his father being a farmer of that section, and was raised and educated there. For six years of his younger life he acted as pilot on the Illinois River, but at the outbreak of the Mexican war enlisted and served in the American army. He saw active service during the whole contest, taking part in the battle of Buena Vista among others. It was after this battle that the Mexican commander used the words now become historical that “it was the first time he had ever fought with men who did not know when they were whipped, for he had had the American forces defeated more than once.” Yet they fought on and won the victory against odds estimated at ten to one. In 1854 Mr. Hughes came overland to California by ox team, the journey from Independence, Missouri, to Chiles Valley in this county, his destination, occupying six months to the day. He came at once down to the Napa Valley and stayed until the spring of 1855. From there he went to the Putah Valley, and in 1857 to Spring Mountain with stock, where he remained until 1861. That being the time of the Washoe excitement he teamed for a year from Sacramento to Carson City, finally in 1862 returning to the Napa Valley and taking stock over into Nevada. In 1863 he moved his cattle into Idaho and stayed until 1867. Coming back to California he went with a band of horses and mules to Oregon in the fall of that year. In the following spring he took them to Idaho, and in the fall sold out and once more returned to California. In 1869 Mr. Hughes went back to Kentucky and remained until 1872, taking to himself in the meantime, in 1870, a wife in the person of Miss ____ Brown, herself a native of Kentucky. They came direct to St. Helena, when Mr. Hughes took a band of jacks and jennies up to Oregon. On his return he bought a ranch of 160 acres, which he still owns, in Chiles Canon, and put stock on it. For twelve years he remained in the stock business there, when the encroachments of settlers so limited the mountain ranges as to force him out of the business on anything but a small scale. He accordingly removed to St. Helena in 1882, and has lived here since in a comfortable residence on Kearney street, surrounded by all of the comforts of life amid a circle of warm friends. They have only one son, James Neil Hughes, born in 1870 and residing at home. Mrs. Hughes carries on the leading general millinery and dressmaking establishment on Main street, in St. Helena, being the oldest of its kind in the town. She employs from six to twelve persons according to the season, and commands a large and fashionable trade.
WILLIAM HAWES, one of the leading and most influential ranchers of Shasta County, was born in New York, May 8, 1836. His father, Michael Hawes, was a native of Germany, born December 25, 1811, was an industrious farmer and blacksmith in the fatherland, and came to America in 1830, settling in the State of New York. He married Martha Hoffon, a native of Pennsylvania, and they had ten children, six of whom still survives.
The subject of this sketch was raised and educated in his native State, attended the public schools in winter, and in summer helped his father on the farm and in his blacksmith shop. When twenty-four years of age he decided to try California, and in 1859 reached the Pacific coast. He went to Shasta County and at Horsetown engaged in mining and cutting logs. A year afterward he removed to Oregon Gulch and worked in the mines eighteen months without losing a day, and received for his work $900. He then went to the American ranch and worked six months. April 20, 1862, married Miss Rebecca Foster. They had six children five of whom are living, namely: John L., Henry N., Grandville, Daniel R. and Alice, al born in Shasta County.
For a year, Mr. Hawes ran the Anderson Hotel. That was before the farm of Anderson was started, and it was then called the American ranch, and many teamsters and travelers stopped there. Then Mr. Hawes came to his present locality, and purchased 120 acres of rich farming land for $700; and since then he has purchased 1,400 acres, 1, 200 in one body. On this property he is carrying on stock and grain farming on a large scale; keeps improved machinery. He raised in one year, from 400 acres of wheat, 7,200 bushels, and his smallest crop of wheat has been 3,000 bushels. He built a good ranch residence in 1876; has surrounded himself with fruit of nearly every description and is also turning his attention considerably to raisin grapes. He has four-year-old vines from which he has picked from forty to sixty pounds to the vine.
In 1875 it was his misfortune to lose his wife by death, and in 1876 he married Miss Henrietta Young, a native of Germany. They have one son, Jacob. Mr. Hawes has belonged both to the Grangers and Odd Fellows. In politics he is a Republican. He has frequently been trustee of his school district, and in 1890 was elected a delegate to the Republican State convention at Sacramento, which nominated Colonel Markham for Governor. Mr. Hawes is a man full of enterprise, eager to help in every undertaking intended to improve and benefit his county, and he is one of its most successful ranchers.
GEORGE C. FOUNTAIN, a viticulturist, was born at Tompkinsville, Staten Island, New York, January 19, 1826, at a point only a 100 yards from the bay, now used as a quarantine station. His father was an extensive vessel owner, having many schooners trading on the bay and sound. The son received his education in the schools of the section, and when sixteen years of age entered the employment of a mercantile firm. Later he went to Wisconsin, where he remained for some time, and in the summer of 1849 sailed one of his father’s schooners. Finally, in February, 1850, he set out for California via Panama, coming upon the first trip of the old Tennessee. After two weeks in San Francisco he set out for Humboldt Bay on the schooner J. M. Ryerson, in charge of a stock of goods which he was to sell for another party on shares. They had the terribly long passage of twenty-six days, but crossed the bar safely, the Ryerson being the second vessel to do so, and at Uniontown (now Arcata) landed to begin business. His partner sold out without consulting him, however, leaving him stranded. He set out for the Klamath mines, but was driven back by the Indians, and at the end of summer returned to San Francisco. He then engaged in the draying and lighterage business, which at that time was very profitable. This he continued until 1852, when the construction of wharves, etc., destroyed his business. The hay, grain and feed business was his next undertaking, carrying it on upon one of his lighters, which he turned into a feed-boat and moored at the corner of Jackson and Sansome streets. A few months later he removed to Pine street, near Sansome, and with a partner, under the firm name of Chase & Fountain, conducted business until 1852. In the spring of that year he rented the old Niantic, corner of Sansome and Clay streets, and did a great business in supplying water to ships and those who needed it. The water was drawn from a pile which had been sunk deep and then bored through. He used to water horses at fifty cents a week, and sell the fluid at fifty cents a barrel. In a year he sold his interest and opened up a feed store on Davis street, where he continued till 1856. Mr. Fountain is now the last of the old hay, grand and feed dealers of San Francisco’s early days that is left alive. His accounts of the quick gains and the equally quick losses of those times and the strange shifts to which they were often reduced, is very entertaining. In 1856 Mr. Fountain went to Sacramento and carried on the feed, storage and commission business in the Old Carpenter building, the firm being Fountain & Ferral. He resided there until 1860. Being an active Republican he naturally took a great interest in political matters. It was chiefly on money supplied by him that the newspaper, The Republican, so well known to old-timers, was started. In 1860 he went back to San Francisco and under the firm name of Place & Fountain, at the corner of Stewart and Folsom streets, was engaged in the hay trade until 1863. He then went to Vallejo and purchased the farm upon which is now situated the Vallejo Water Company’s reservoir. After farming there until 1872 he came up to St. Helena, bought his present snug little place and engaged the growing of grapes and making wine, having forty acres of vines. He has a substantial concrete wine cellar, wherein is stored the wine made from grapes grown on his own place and that of his wife, on the other side of town. He has occupied a position on the Board of Town Trustees for three terms, being one of the first board ever elected.
He was married July 3, 1858, in Sacramento, to Miss Sarah Sidegraves , who was born in St. Louis. They have a family of four children, two sons and two daughters. The eldest son, George, is with Whittier, Fuller & Co. in San Francisco; the younger, Bud, is at home. Maggie, the eldest daughter, is married to Dr. Sabin, of St. Helena, and the younger, Alice, is at home.
MRS. LOSINA E. DAVIS, proprietor of the Ladies’ Millinery and Fancy Goods Store at Redding, is a native of New York, born August 29, 1840. Her father, Henry Davis, was a native of the Green Mountain State, and her mother, Nancy (Sherman) Davis, of the Empire State. She was the first-born of a family of five children, all of whom are living. She received her education in New York city, and learned millinery and dressmaking there, and also for five years she taught school in New York. She was united in marriage with Mason L. Davis, a gentleman of her own State and name. They had five children. A son and daughter only are living, namely: Franklin Mason and Gertrude Luthers, both born in New York. Mr. Davis died in Ogdensburg, New York, in 1873 and he was buried there. In 1878 Mrs. Davis went to Boston and opened a millinery establishment, which she conducted successfully for three years; then spent a year in Texas; next went to Los Angeles, and then to San Francisco, and for a year had charge of the cloak department of the Samuels Lace House. In 1884, hearing of a vacancy in her line of business at Redding, she went there and opened her present fine establishment, which has from the start grown in favor with the best citizens of Redding and adjoining country. She has connected with her store a dressmaking department, and during the busy season of the year employs eight hands. She also has a branch business at Anderson. In July, 1890, the block in which her establishment was located was consumed by fire. Her insurance had expired and she was a heavy loser, many of her goods being injured and lost in the removal; but a portion was saved, and with the most commendable courage and enterprise she opened in a temporary place the next day and continued the business. The people of Redding, seeing her loss and her commendable enterprise, helped her in many ways. A nice new brick block was erected and she now has a fine stock on the ground where she was before the fire, and enjoys the patronage of the best customers in the city and county. She is an active and obliging sales-woman, well informed on the quality and value of goods, skilled in both millinery and dressmaking. She not only knows how, but has also a most exacting aesthetic taste. This makes her a valuable acquisition to the business of her city. Then there is added to this the fact that she is so liberal in her ideas of business that she is satisfied with moderate profits. From all of these things there has sprung up between her and her customers a mutual pleasant understanding that is worth a fortune.
It has been said that it were “better to be born lucky than rich;” but is not all in luck by any means: there is a great deal more in natural talent and enterprise than in luck. However, it has been Mrs. Davis’ good fortune to become the possessor of $20,000 paid up as inaccessible stock in a rich tellurium gold mine recently discovered within three miles of the city. A stock company has been formed, and she is one of the directors. They are now opening the mine and getting on the machinery for a mill. Everything connected with the enterprise betokens a grand success, both for the stockholders and the city. Two assays of the ore have been made: one showed $3,333 to the ton of ore, and the other, made at the United States Mine, went $3,000 to the ton.
The history of the life of an honorable and self-reliant woman like this one should inspire every lady, who should see it with more faith in herself and in the capability of her sex.
HON. S. W. COLLINS.-In the following pages will be found sketched briefly one of the most interesting and eventful life-histories that it has ever been the good fortune of the writer to hear related, and not alone a busy one either, but full as useful also, many of the incidents being an intimate portion of the early pioneer history of the old-time Western States.
Mr. Collins is a Kentuckian by birth, dating his nativity at a point some two miles from Carlisle, Nicholas County, on June 13, 1829. When a child of two and a half years the family removed to Green County, Illinois, where his father took up a farm. His father’s name was John W. Collins, of Danish descent, born near Snow Hill, Maryland, and raised in Baltimore. His mother was a Miss Piper, of Irish descent, born and raised in Kentucky. For thirty years Mr. Collins remained in Illinois, some of his brothers and sisters still residing there. Mr. Collins was brought up to the life of a farmer, and afterward started a store, carrying on a farm as well. Living, as he did, on the margin of the Indian country, he became thoroughly acquainted with Indian life and character, learned to speak their language thoroughly (the Osage), and came to wield over them a great influence, - an influence, let it be said, that was always exerted for good. As a consequence he was much employed by the Government in their deals with the redskins, especially during the war and later. For many years, Mr. Collins was post trader in the Neosho Valley in Kansas, and in all important matters represented the United States Government as interpreter, negotiating for the sale of lands, etc., etc. He assisted in raising Colonel Phillips’ Indian Regiment in 1861, and was one of the most active and effective workers for the Union cause. In connection with these times Mr. Collins has many soul-stirring incidents to relate. Indeed, he is one of the most interesting talkers whom it is possible to meet, possessing a good memory and rare descriptive powers. He has also many mementos of early western times and ways. Twice he was taken prisoner during his war experiences, and has sustained and overcome a wound that would have laid out a man of lesser mettle. As is but proper under the circumstances, he is an active and enthusiastic member of the Grand Army and a stanch supporter of good government. He recollects well the days when buffalo roamed over the plains by the million, and has hunted and trapped when the Indians and a few hunters and trappers were about all west of the Missouri. In 1875 Mr. Collins tired of life on the Western plains changing so rapidly as it was with the influx of population, and accordingly he set his face westward and came to the Pacific coast. Choosing Calistoga as his home, he purchased fifty-five acres in the outskirts of town, and settled down to enjoy the quiet so deserved after his long and busy years. He has laid out a vineyard of twenty-five acres, has a small but choice orchard for house use, and possesses a magnificent water privilege, having an abundant spring 1,400 feet above the house, with a water-head of 400 feet as piped down. Five acres of his property he laid off as a Calistoga cemetery, the cemetery of the town. Mr. Collins is one of the incorporators of Calistoga, this useful move taking place in 1885. For two terms now Mr. Collins has been Supervisor of the county from his district, six years in all. During the later term he has been Chairman of the Board, and the most active and useful member of the Board. Indeed, it is customarily said that he is the best Supervisor the county has ever had. For eight years he has been Justice of the Peace for his township, from which circumstance he acquire the honorable title of “Judge,” by which he is generally known. There is not a more popular man in the county than he, and no one gifted with more energy or sound common sense on all matters. He is a worker, and cannot help coming to the front. He is too useful to his fellow-citizens to be let go by himself.
Mr. Collins was married in December, 1850, to Miss Sarah E. Dickerman, a native of Mount Holly, Vermont. She died March 26, 1867, in Kansas, leaving the following children: Miriam H. (now Mrs. Piper), born December 30, 1852, living near Lawrence, Kansas. Samuel A., born September 18, 1855, living in Labette County, Kansas. Nelson W., born January 29, 1862, now in business in Calistogs. All of the above were born in Illinois. Major Clinton, born in Labette County, Kansas, February 20, 1866, the first white child to be born in that county, now working on the railroad. By the way, it should be stated that Judge Collins helped organize Labette County, and gave it its name. He was married, secondly, March 10, 1869, in Labette County, to Mrs. Mary A. Howe, nee Connor, a native of Miami County, Indiana. They have one daughter, Annie C., born October 14, 1870, in Kansas. A singular circumstance in connection with Judge Collins’ family history is the following: His mother died, leaving one daughter and three sons, the daughter being the eldest. His first wife died, leaving also a daughter and three sons, the daughter again the eldest. His son Samuel A. has also lost a wife, who left a daughter and three sons, the daughter being again the eldest. Judge Collins is a member of Governor Morton Post, No. 41, G. A. R., and also of the I. O. O. F., having joined the latter order so long ago as October 10, 1850, when just of age. He has held every honor conferrable by the order.
HON. J. H. WHEELER.-The history of the work of the Wheeler family can not be told in a few words. It has been too important and too far-reaching in its effects. A plain statement of facts, however, will be found both readable and instructive and accordingly we herewith present them. Mr. Charles Wheeler, father of R. M. Wheeler (now deceased), and the gentleman whose name is seen at the head of this article, is a native of Vermont, being born at Vergennes, February 22, 1818. He removed to Oswego, New York, and there for a number of years carried on the grain and milling business, being largely interested also in the elevator business at that point. In Oswego both his sons, Rolla M. and J. H., were born, the former in 1854 and the latter in 1856. In 1867 Mr. Wheeler removed to California with his family, and at Vallejo engaged here also in the grain business, endeavoring also to introduce here the elevator system which was found so successful in the East. In these undertakings he was connected in partnership with such men as Friedlander, putting up the first elevator ever erected on the coast. This attempt proved unremunerative, and in 1869 Mr. Wheeler came up to the Napa Valley and purchased the beautiful vineyard at Bello Station, now managed by his son. This vineyard consists of thirty-five acres of rich loam soil, unexcelled in fertility anywhere in the world. An instance of this may be noted when twenty-two tons of grapes per acre were taken from the vines. Grapes were selling at $30 a ton that year- what we should call a satisfactory return. This vineyard was originally planted to Zinfandel, Riesling, Burgundy, etc., but has mostly since been grafted into choicer improved stocks. We noticed that the vines in this place were fully a week ahead of the average vines of the valley, justifying entirely any praise that can be given to the spot. Mr. Wheeler has lately added fifty more acres on the corner opposite his own, and, notwithstanding the depression that seems to cripple so many, is launching in other directions. Business tact and management, coupled with the splendid convenience of everything, as will be seen when the winery and cellar is described, is the secret of it.
Mr. Charles Wheeler retired from active business some time ago, the vineyard and cellar being managed by Mr. Rolla M. Wheeler with great success. Unfortunately, he was accidentally killed by a kick from a horse March 1, 1889, his death being felt to be a severe loss to the community. His widow and two little sons reside in a handsome cottage adjoining Bello Station.
Hon J. H. Wheeler came to California in 1867 with his father. He received his education chiefly in this State, graduating in 1879 from the University of California as a mining engineer after a course of four years. He went at once to Bodie, but a few months of frontier life satisfied him that there was better fields for his ambition, and he returned to San Francisco. After some desultory work, Mr. Wheeler began the study of law, but being offered the Secretaryship of the State Board of Viticulture upon its formation, in 1881, and the work of his life was fortunately won for the bettering of the wine industry of the State. Mr. Wheeler began the work, and with the energy inherent in his nature worked for the general benefit of the cause he represented. Until May, 1888, he continued to serve the Viticultural Association as Secretary, and was then appointed its Chief Executive officer, in this duty visiting all parts of the State and regulating the many complicated affairs of the department. Meanwhile Mr. Wheeler had been watchful also of his own interests. He purchased and planted the Cornelia Vineyard and Orchards (named after his eldest daughter). Mr. Wheeler has also another vineyard and orchard higher up the valley. Upon this estate there is a large winery, fruit dryers, etc. It is owing to Mr. Wheeler’s efforts that the only effectual fight is being made against the destructive pest, phylloxera. Perceiving the need for something to be done if wine raising were to become a permanent industry in California, he established at Melrose, Alameda County, his carbon-bisulphide manufactory, this chemical being the only effective remedy. His efforts in this direction have been very highly appreciated by every one interested in the welfare of the coast, and the substance is being called for largely not alone by vineyardists but also by wheat farmers and others, for the destruction of gophers, squirrels, etc. This is the only manufactory of the kind on the coast. During the winter Mr. Wheeler manufactures sufficient to meet the demands of the season, shipping it out as called for. Upon the unfortunate death of his brother, Rolla W., Mr. Wheeler came up to Napa Valley, and in addition to his multifarious duties, has taken upon himself the management of the vineyards and cellar at Bello Station. The cellar is a well constructed one, of a capacity of 300,000 gallons. In addition to making up his own grapes he buys largely from his neighbors, taking last year 2,000 tons of grapes in this way, and making up the largest vintage of any one in the valley. The cellar is located right at the station and thus handling of full casks is avoided, the empty casks being first placed in the car and the wine being pumped directly into them. In the distillery connected with the cellar from 6,000 to 10,000 gallons of brandy are annually made. Sales are made chiefly to the wholesale dealers in San Francisco.
Mr. Wheeler was married to Miss Frankie V. Jones, of Chico, a sister of Senator A. F. Jones, and a graduate of Mills Seminary in 1879. Her father was a pioneer of 1849, and was a partner formerly of such men as Mayor Pond of San Francisco, and others. They have two children: Ella Cornelia, the eldest and Elliott H., both hearty, promising little folks. Mr. Wheeler has settled down at Bello Station to build up a business for himself, having thoroughly identified himself with the welfare of Napa County. The benefit of his labors will be felt for good in the future as in the past. Mr. Wheeler is at the beginning of a brilliant career, following up the energetic and useful careers of his father and brothers. He has worked always quite as much for the welfare and general interests of the State as for self, a splendid instance of our better younger citizens.
W. M. LEE, proprietor of a furniture store in Woodland, was born in Massachusetts, the son of John and Mary (Buckman) Lee, natives of Maine: father was a dentist in New Hampshire, and his mother died in 1878, in Sacramento, this State. Mr. Lee received his education in Boston, and in 1853 came by way of the Isthmus to California, and, like nearly all others, tried his hand first at mining. He followed this for two years in El Dorado County; then for a time he was employed at painting buggies and carriages in Sacramento; next he went to Chicago, Butte County; then until 1858 he was in San Francisco, where he ran the largest photograph gallery in the city; next until 1662 he was a boatman on the Sacramento River, making Sacramento his headquarters; next he purchased a blacksmith shop in Placer County, and while there he was appointed Postmaster under the administration of President Lincoln, and after filling this office four years he went upon a ranch on Dry Creek in Sacramento County, where he remained three years. Returning to San Francisco he worked at odd jobs for several years. He then built a large wagon for the purpose of traveling through California in the photograph business but he quit that at Woodland, and resorted at carpentering for the Goble Bros., and was employed on their house 130 days. He then opened his present place of business, on a cash capital of $7.50, and he now carries about $2,000 worth of goods. He has several lots in Woodland and a nice dwelling, all of which he has earned by the hard knocks of a life of business vicissitudes. He is a member of the order of Good Templars.
November 3, 1884, he married Emma Graft, in San Francisco. She is a native of Sacramento County, this State.
LEONARD W. KIDD, a “Native Son of the Golden West,” is publisher and proprietor of the East-Side Times, published at Millville. He was born at Placerville, February 2, 1852, of good old Scotch ancestry. Archibald and Edgar Kidd, brothers, came from Scotland to America in 1810 and settled at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Archibald Kidd, his grandfather, was a civil engineer at the coal mines of Pennsylvania, and there his father, Captain John Kidd, was born.
Mr. Kidd, the subject of our sketch, was one of three children, himself and his sister being the only survivors; she is now Mrs. Grace E. Hussey. He was educated at Sacramento city, and when a boy worked two years in a drug store, and after this went to learn the printers’ trade in the State printing office. Was there two years from March, 1866, till January, 1868, when he went to San Francisco to complete the trade, and there he served an apprenticeship on the Overland Monthly, continuing with them until February, 1874. Next he went to Portland, Oregon, and worked in a job office. From there he went to Seattle, Washington, and worked six months; then he returned to San Francisco and worked at intervals. For a time he was foreman for the “patent outside” Newspaper Union. After this he worked for the Pacific Newspaper Union until 1882. He was then engaged, at the mission at San Francisco, in a job office and on a local paper called the Saturday Local. In November, 1883, he went to Millville and started his own paper, the East-Side Times, publishing the first issue November 10, 1883, and successfully continuing it since. He has purchased a residence and two other houses and his office, and is interested in a farm and in stock-raising, and also in lands at Seattle, Washington.
He was married December 24, 1872, to Miss Cora M. Pepper, a native of Sonoma County, this State, and they two boys and a girl, - Leonard L. and Grace A., born in San Francisco, and John Arthur, born at Millville. Mr. Kidd is one of the oldest native sons on the coast, and his paper is the first published on the east side of the river in Shasta County. He is president of Millville Parlor, No. 165, Native Sons of the Golden West, and was one of the charter members of Pacific Parlor, No. 10, San Francisco. He is a Republican, a member of the State and County Central Committees, and in 1888 was elected Justice of the Peace in Millville, which office he now holds.
ROBERT SPENCE HASTIE, deceased, was during his life one of the most energetic and valuable citizens of Napa County, a man of extended views, of large undertakings, and in soul of justice, honor and uprightness. He was born in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1830. When twelve years of age, being a lad of independent and romantic disposition, he ran away from home, crossed the ocean, and in New York learned the carpenter’s trade. In 1860 he came to California and made his way to Napa city, working at his trade in that place until 1862. He then came up to St. Helena and for a time worked at his trade. Being of too enterprising a disposition for this, however, he soon afterwards engaged in the mercantile business, dealing largely in real estate, etc., in later years. He took a great interest in the mineral wealth of the section as well as of other parts, being interested in Idaho and elsewhere, and being intimately acquainted with the country, and at one time was possessed of much property. Unfortunately he died in 1883, but cut off in his prime, regretted and mourned by all.
He was married in 1862 to Miss Lizzie Hudson, a most estimable lady, who made him a good wife, and has since his death shown herself a capable manager and good business woman, educating her children well and bringing them up to habits of thrift and diligence. She was born in Napa County, and is the daughter of William Hudson, who crossed the plains in 1849 from Missouri, and was one of Napa County’s most honored pioneers. Mrs. Hastie has six children living and two deceased. The names of the former are: Ernest, who is now the manager of Colonel Carr’s place near St. Helena; William, now in Alaska; Alexander Hudson, Lillian May, Lewis Elgin and Robert Spence, all at home.
W. F. MARCH. This gentleman is the genial proprietor of the Villa Hotel at Rutherford, and also of the livery and feed stables of that thriving little town. The hotel is well fitted and furnished and contains accommodations for about twenty-five persons. A good table is set, and every care taken to suit the wishes of the guests. Under its present management it is becoming popular as a summer resort, for which it is well suited both by the attractiveness of the house itself and of the beauty and salubrity of this portion of Napa Valley. Regular stages leave the house for Walters, Soda Springs and other mountain resorts. Its convenience of position to the railroad at Rutherford is not the least recommendation, permitting east access to the city and elsewhere. Mr. March has the house on lease since January 1, 1890. He is a native of Scotland County, Missouri, where he was born May 3, 1849, but came to this country with his parents when but six years of age. His father, Mr. R. B. March, was engaged in mining at different times, and also ran a livery stable at Elmira, Solano County, which he still owns, but is now retired from active business, caring only for his orchard. He was assisted in the livery business by his son, Mr. W. F. March, until the latter came over to this county. It should be stated further, however, that the family resided for some time in the earlier years in this valley, coming here in 1857, where Mr. March carried on farming, so that he is no stranger to the beauties and capabilities of this section.
Mr. March was married at Rutherford, in 1887, to Miss Mary Cavanaugh. They have one child.
C. W. CHAPMAN, a prominent farmer and sheep-raiser of Yolo County, was born April 29, 1829, in Wilcox County, Alabama, and was three years of age when his father W. M. Chapman, moved to Macon County, that State, where he lived until January 18, 1854. Then he came to California, crossing the Isthmus, February 18. He spent nearly three years in the mines near Georgetown, El Dorado County, not striking very rich diggings, however. September 2, 1856, he arrived in Yolo County, where he has since followed farming and stock-raising, making sheep a specialty; and in this enterprise he has done well, keeping about 5,000 head through the winter seasons. To his industries he devotes 18,000 acres of land, on which there is no mortgage.
May 4, 1870, is the date of Mr. Chapman’s marriage to Miss Zilpah Stephens, of Cooper County, Missouri, and they have three sons and two daughters, ranging from ten to eighteen years of age.
FRANCIS SIEVERS purchased a ranch of 286 acres in Chiles Valley three years ago, and came here to reside one year ago. He has a fine vineyard and orchard of twenty-five acres, chiefly prunes and peaches, which have grown wonderfully and are already beginning to bear. The vines also are thrifty. He is grafting this year on resistant stock and expects to put up a wine cellar and also a fruit cellar.
Mr. Sievers was born November 4, 1829, in Holstein, Germany, and came in 1857 to California by way of Cape Horn. In the old country he was in the military service in the German-Danish war.
In 1857 also he was married in San Francisco to Miss Klenwort, of Altona, Holstein, Germany.
After spending a year in San Francisco, he went to San Mateo County, where he was engaged in farming and stock-raising for eighteen years, paying $5,000 a year for rent; but he spent a part of the time at San Pedro. In 1870 he visited Germany, returning in 1875, when he became a book-keeper in the Anglo-California Bank. His youngest son, Henry, is assisting him; his son, Otto, is in the employ of Tileman & Bendel; and his daughter is the wife of Henry B. Russ, who is the treasurer of the Olympic Club and formerly its president. Mr. Sievers has been a Supervisor of San Francisco County and has held other public positions.
J. A. DOWNEY.- This gentleman is the superintendent of “Inglebourn,” the magnificent lower ranch of Mr. W. B. Bourn, situated a short distance north of Rutherford in the Napa Valley. It consists of 325 acres of the splendid fertile land of the valley, running from the county road across the creek to the opposite side and comprising all classes of soil. Of this acreage eighty acres is in hay, twenty in pasture and the balance in grapes of the better varieties, all presenting a fine thrifty appearance and well taken care of. On this place too are the carriage and repair shops belonging to Mr. Bourn, as well as his blacksmith shop, paint shop, etc., all the repairs, etc., for the great wine cellar as well as for the two vineyards being done here. There are never less than ten, and during the season, as many as ninety, men employed about the place. The first of the vines were put out about nine years ago, care being taken to select only the best varieties. Mr. Downey, the superintendent , has been with the place since 1879, beginning when only sixteen years old and learning the whole business from the ground floor up. For the past eight years he has been superintendent, everything flourishing under his hands. He was brought up on a farm and has made grape-growing a practical and life-long study, and is worthy of his position. His father is Mr. D. Downey, the owner of a vineyard just below Rutherford, and an old and respected resident of the valley.
J. A. Downey was born in Calistoga, October 20, 1863, on his father’s ranch up there. He was educated and raised in Napa County and has spent his life so far at farming, stock-raising and vine-growing. He is a great lover of good horse-flesh, having a record on that point. He has three as good horses as are in the vicinity, one of the, a four-year-old mare, being a very handsome animal. He is unmarried, is a member of the N. S. G. W., St. Helena Parlor, and is one of the most popular young men of the county, the fortunate possessor of a level head, a handsome figure and a genial disposition. He is Mr. Bourn’s trusted and confidential man, having at one time had charge of all three of his places until compelled by overwork to give up the other two. During Mr. Bourn’s many necessary absences he leaves all buying, selling, etc., to Mr. Downey, knowing it is in good hands.
H. A. PELLET.-It is with pleasure that we accord herewith a leading position to this worthy pioneer of wine-making in California, one who, by hearty, earnest work for the business of his life and the country of his choice, has accomplished much in the past with still greater promise of the future, and is to-day regarded as one of the foremost wine men of our State, being thoroughly acquainted with every detail of the business and an authority second to none other. A visit to his charming home, situated amid a splendid grove in the center of the valley, with an unequaled view on every side and surrounded by flowers, will long be remembered by the writer as one of those pleasant occasions that come all too infrequently to mankind. Very much of the general information to be found in another place in this volume has been verified and amplified from his ready stores of information. About his place nothing for show alone was found, but in every instance, in cellar arrangements and all else, utility and convenience was evidently first consulted. In the twenty-seven years since Mr. Pellet purchased and began the improvement of his charming place, he has done a very great deal of work, not alone for himself, but as well the State at large. From time to time he has imported and experimented with something like sixty varieties of grapes for the purpose of testing their adaptability to our climate and conditions. As a result, his experience limits him to about ten varieties, in which he is followed generally by others in the valley. These are, for red wines, the Zinfandel, Mataro, Grenache, Grosse Blanc, Carignane, St. Macaire and Malbec, and for white wines, the different varieties of Riesling, the Chasselas and the Burger. These are grafted upon native resistant stocks. The cellar, which has a capacity of about 80,000 gallons was erected in 1866, being sunk partially beneath the surface of the ground. That it contains samples of some of the grandest vintages ever grown in California, will be asserted by any one who visits Mr. Pellet and profits by his generous hospitality.
We draw largely for the details of Mr. Pellet’s busy and useful life from the history of Napa and Lake counties, which gives them fully and succinctly. Henry Alphouse Pellet was born February 6, 1828, in Canton, Nenfchatel, Switzerland, and is the second son of John Samuel and Elizabeth (Javet) Pellet. He remained with his parents until he was fifteen years of age receiving in the meantime the rudiments of his education, and also working in his father’s vineyards. At that age he entered the high schools which he attended for two years. He then studied surveying for one year. In 1846 he accepted the position of book-keeper for Messrs. Perret & Co., watch manufacturers in La Chaux de Fords, which he held until February, 1848, when he resigned the position, and served as a volunteer in the revolution that freed the canton of Neufchatel from the sovereignty of the King of Prussia. In May of 1848, he emigrated to the United States, and having brought a stock of watches, clocks, etc., with him set up in business in St. Louis. In the fall of that year he returned again to Switzerland, having disposed of his previous stock, and in the following spring came once more to St. Louis, bringing with him a replenished stock of watches and watchmaker’s goods. In the spring of 1850, determining to follow the tide to California, he fitted up two six-mule teams, and organized a company of twelve men for the trip overland. The trains were sent to St. Joseph, whither he followed by steamer; and on May 16th they set out for the tedious journey. They chose the northern route, coming via Sublette’s cut-off and Fort Hall to the Humboldt River, thence down that river to the sink, across the desert to Truckee and across the Sierras, reaching Nevada City, September 6, 1850. The trip was a hard one, much suffering being felt for lack of provisions and loss of cattle, necessitating the abandoning of one wagon. For six weeks they were without bread, and for four weeks had to subsist on jerked beef, procured from the abandoned cattle along the route. Mr. Pellet engaged at once in mining, and met with good success. In February, 1851, he with five others went to Rich Bar on the north fork of the Feather River, and worked for five months, returning then to Nevada City. In the fall of that year he with others opened a quartz mine, erected a mill, and in less than six months found the whole undertaking a failure. With the dauntless spirit of the early days, this disaster served only to nerve him to greater efforts. He accepted a position as foreman in a quartz mill at $8 a day, holding it until the fall of 1852. He then came to San Francisco, where in partnership with J. L. Cabanne he put up a flour-mill at North Beach. This they carried on for a year with varying success. In the fall of 1853 the mill was removed to Napa City, being the first steam grist mill in the county. This mill Mr. Pellet carried on until June, 1855, with no very large profit to himself, although an immense convenience and benefit to the farmers, who came many miles to have their grain reduced to flour. He then returned to the mines, going to Siskiyou County. In 1858 he came back again to Napa County, and engaged in farming. In 1860 he leased John Patchett’s vineyard near Napa City, and entered upon the making of wine. This was the second wine made in the county, Mr. Charles Krug having preceded him one year on the same place. In 1863 he purchased his present beautiful place, the whole of which (forty-five acres) is in vineyard, saving only the site of his comfortable home, the winery, barns, stables, etc. Until 1866 he had charge of Dr. Crane’s vineyard and cellar, when he built his cellar and, in partnership with Mr. D. B. Carver, now a banker, he went extensively into the wine business, buying grapes and making wine. The firm of Pellet & Carver was dissolved in 1878, since which time Mr. Pellet has continued the business alone, but on a like large scale. Mr. Pellet is now also the Superintendent of the wine cellars for the Natoma Wine Company, the most extensive makers of wines in the vicinity of Sacramento. He makes the wine for the company, attending to every detail from the moment the grapes come in from the vineyards until the wine is sold. He has always been actively identified with every movement that looks to the betterment of the wine industry of the State, being a leading figure in the formation of the Viticultural Commission. He has also held more than one elective office, in which he was able to serve his beloved industry to great purposes. In the session of 1885-’86, he was chosen a member of the State Legislature. During this time he was Chairman of the Committee on Viticulture, and was the author of the Sweet Wine Bill, and also aided largely in promoting Congressional action on the subject. Previous to this he had served his county and district as Supervisor for several terms, and was also for several terms a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Helena.
Mr. Pellet was married February 5, 1856 to Miss Sarah S. Thompson, of Sandusky, Ohio. They had three sons, Frank and Louis, now in the lumber business in St. Helena, two of the most worthy citizens of that town, who are following closely in the footsteps of their father, and John S. Mrs. Pellet is deceased, and Mr. Pellet has again married.
Such in brief is the record of a busy and eventful life, the characteristic feature of which is energy, indomitable pluck, and the strong determination that compels success - an example worthy the emulation of the young.
HENRY FRIEDERIKS.- This worthy old pioneer has had an eventful career and most interesting history, making his way up from very small beginnings to wealth and comfort by hard work and shrewd, common sense. Mr. Friederiks was born in Hanover, Germany, August 7, 1814, and is the son of Christian Friederiks, a native of Hanover. Here the subject of our sketch resided until thirty years of age, being brought up to the trade of butcher. In 1844 he came to America and opened a butcher shop in New York. In the spring of the following year he sold his shop and removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, being engaged there in the manufacture of Bologna sausages. Two years later he went to Chicago, then a very small place, and being without means was compelled to ask employment at his trade. The best he could get was $8 a month, not sufficient to support his family, and therefore he refused it. Then he and his wife went to a dry-goods house and asked to be allowed to have some goods on trust, with the promise to pay for them on the following day. They got the goods and proceeded to sell them from house to house, succeeding very well, and continuing the business all summer. In the fall they started for St. Louis, Missouri. On the way they stopped at Peru, Illinois, and bought three acres of land in the city, paying $80 an acre. At St. Louis Mr. Friederiks was taken sick, and having but scant means his wife continued to sell goods. On recovery of health Mr. Friederiks could not obtain profitable employment, but his shrewdness stood him in good stead. Going to a pork-packing house, he inquired what they would sell him the hogs’ tongues for. They gave them to him for one cent apiece, provided he would cut them out. For some time his business was cutting out hogs’ tongues, ranging from 1,000 to 1,200 per day. These he salted down in barrels supplied by the company. When he had fifty barrels he sold a portion of them for five cents a tongue in St. Louis, and shipped the rest, consisting of forty-five barrels, to New Orleans, when he sold the whole lot at ten cents a tongue. Then he went back to Peru, built him a home on his three acres of land, and engaged in the butcher business in partnership with George Zimmerman, now of Petaluma, California. He remained in this business for three years, being very successful. He then decided to cross the plains to California. In May, 1852, they left Missouri, reaching Hang town (now Placerville) September 14, 1852. After spending some time in that vicinity he came to Yolo County, took up some land near Madison, and by strict attention to business is to-day one of the wealthy and respected citizens of the county. He owns a fine ranch of 2,408 acres, in addition to his fine residence in Woodland, where he is spending the comfortable evening of a busy life.
He was married first to Miss Caroline Huffman, They had five children: Paulina, Emily, Jennie, John J. and Rhoda. Mrs. Friederiks died in 1863. Secondly, Mr. Friederiks was married in 1874, to Miss Mary Matten, a native of Germany, a most excellent lady, a worthy helpmate to her husband.
CALIFORNIA LUSTRAL COMPANY: J. M. Mitchell, Superintendent.-The California Lustral Company has been formed with a capital stock of $100,000 to work a deposit of mineral rock discovered a short distance above Calistoga, Napa County. Its president is Luke Dow, of Oakland; its Secretary, S. F. Burbank, of the same place, and its superintendent, J. M. Mitchell, who has his residence at the mine. The purpose of the company is best expressed in their own words, as follows: “The mineral is used in the manufacture of soaps, also for cleansing, scouring, and polishing compounds, and has already been sufficiently used to prove its quality superior to any other substances, except a similar deposit in the immediate vicinity. The product being of universal use, the market extending throughout the world, and the supply being for the most part limited to this mine, the advantages of a participation as a stockholder can be readily appreciated. The mineral which this company has is practically inexhaustible.”
When visited by the writer, the mill, 30 x 40 feet in size, with engine-room 20 x 26 feet, adjoining, was in course of erection, and a gang of men were engaged in opening out the mineral on the hillside adjoining, matters being so arranged that the mineral can be shot down by gravitation into the mill. They have a Dodge rock-crusher, capable of crushing a large amount of rock per day, although it is expected that the capacity of the mill will be about five tons per day. The engine is twenty-horse power, and the boiler of thirty-horse power. On the hill is a 5,000-gallon tank, filled from a No. A Dow pump, with a fall of thirty feet, affording an ample water supply for all purposes. There is also an auxiliary pump for the boiler.
Mr. J. M. Mitchell, the superintendent, is a thoroughly capable and experienced man, having a long experience in the practical working and arrangement of machinery, etc. He was born in London, England, in 1850, the son of Henry Mitchell. In 1861, he came with his father to San Jose, in this State, where his father is now the superintendent of the San Jose Foundry, J. M. was brought up to the machinists’ trade and became a thorough mechanic in every department of the business, having long held positions of responsibility and trust. For several years he was in charge of the ice works at San Diego, ranking as one of the southern city’s enterprising and successful citizens. He is taking hold of the California Lustral Company’s enterprise in a thoroughly practical manner, and will assuredly carry it through to success. He is a married man, and is possessed of ample energy and “go”.
C. L. LA RUE.-”El Cuesta,” for such is the beautiful and appropriate name of the vineyard and property of Mr. C. L. La Rue, has one of the best and most admirable locations in Napa County. It is fortunately situated in the gap or path between the western side of the valley and the hill above Yountville, thus possessing a most equable temperature and a delightful position. It is a part of the old Hopper place, consisting of 140 acres in all, of which l24 are in vines. Mr. La Rue has owned it for five years, and during that time has made many improvements in the way of replacing his vines with resistant stock, so as to withstand the attacks of the phylloxera. He has now eighty acres already in resistant stocks and will gradually replace all. He has no cellar as yet, but hopes to have one before long. At present he sells all his grapes. Mr. La Rue is the son of Hon. H. M. La Rue, so well known all over the State as a public man, the firm of H. M. La Rue & Sons owning a place also in Yolo County. C. L. La Rue was born in Colusa, in January, 1862, and was educated and brought up in California. He took a course of two years at the State University in agriculture, paying attention especially to practical agriculture and chemistry. He has spent all his life on a farm, and has made a practical study of grape culture, being one of the best informed men met. Much important information was obtained from him.
He was married in Woodland to Miss Spires. They have one son, Elwin, now three and a half years old.
NIELS P. FRIEDRIIKSEN, the junior partner of the firm of Tocker & Friedriiksen, proprietors of the Fashion Stables at Pleasanton, was born in Holstein, Germany, July 7, 1869, and brought up there, upon his father’s farm. He is the second son of Niels P. and Netta Maria (Nielsen) Friedriiksen, natives of Schleswig, who had four children. The subject of this brief sketch came to America in 1883, sailing from Antwerp to San Francisco. He first located in Solano County, where he worked upon a farm for a few months; then he settled near Haywards, Alameda County, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1888, when he made a visit to his native land. A year afterward he returned to Haywards, and in March, 1890, he settled at Pleasanton, in the business already mentioned. He was naturalized, in 1889, is unmarried and is a member of Haywards Lodge, No. 14, Sons of Hermann.
JOHN THOMANN.-It would be impossible to select for description a more complete or successful winery in the whole of Napa County than that belong to Mr. John Thomann, one of the oldest and most experienced wine-makers of the State. The cellar is situated at Vineland Station on the railroad, and possesses the advantage, enjoyed, we believe, by no other establishment of the kind in the county, of having a switch or side-track into the grounds, thus allowing the handling and shipping of the wine with the least possible disturbance. Although the cellar is a wooden building, thus at first glance not comparing with some others in the valley, yet it is found to be constructed for its purpose by a man skilled in the business and so thoroughly adapted to the uses of wine-making that we doubt if any other cellar can be reckoned with it. The excellent flavor of the wines made within its walls and their increasing popularity are perhaps the best proof of this fact. The capacity of the cellar is about 200,000 gallons of wine. In the rear is the distillery, also a like complete establishment, having a daily capacity of 800 to 900 gallons of brandy. The machinery in the cellar is all of late construction and approved merit, there being two presses, one of them hydraulic. Pumping throughout the cellar is done by steam power. The processes of elevating the grapes to the steamer, of crushing, and all other operations are such as are approved and adopted by all the best wine-makers. An abundant supply of clear, cold water is piped to all parts. Mr. Thomann’s vineyards, consisting of forty-five acres of the best varieties and known as the Howell Mountain Vineyard, are situated on Howell Mountain, thus securing the advantages in quality and bouquet of the mountain-grown wines. In addition to the grapes from his own vineyards, Mr. Thomann also buys extensively from growers, for the purpose of distilling, etc. Most of his wines find a market in California and on the Pacific coast, although of late some is being sold in the East, sales being effected entirely through his own salesmen. The brandies go throughout the Union, - to New York and other Eastern cities, to Salt Lake and to points on this coast. The grounds surrounding the handsome and modern residence of Mr. Thomann are some of the handsomest in the valley, and the whole appearance of the establishment with its fine trees is very pleasing.
To gain a just idea of the importance of this establishment to the right understanding of the history of wine-making in California, we must refer back to Mr. Henry Thomann, an uncle of the gentleman whose name heads this article. Henry Thomann was one of the very oldest of the pioneers of the State, having crossed the plains from St. Louis in 1845, at the same time as the Donner party. On reaching California he entered the employment of General Sutter, and later went to Sonoma, and was with General Vallejo. Upon the discovery of gold in 1848, we was one of the first to engage successfully in washing for the precious metal, as he had during his youth had practical experience in washing the sands of the river Aare in Switzerland, his native place. He fell sick, however, and had to return to Sacramento. In 1852 Henry Thomann established a vineyard at that city on land bought from Sutter, probably the first vineyard planted in California for the purpose of wine-making, the first being manufactured in 1856. Henry Thomann died in 1883. His nephew, John Thomann, was born at Biberstein, Canton Aargau, Switzerland, in 1836. He was thus brought up in the wine districts of Europe, and to the practical business of wine-making. In 1858 he came to America, coming via New York, and then to San Francisco by the Isthmus of Panama. For two years he assisted his uncle I the wine business in Sacramento, when he rented the business from him, purchasing it later. In 1859 he was of the first to make brandy in this State, making peach and grape brandy. After sixteen years in Sacramento he removed the establishment to Napa County, in order to take advantage of the superior adaptabilities of this valley, and has built up its present splendid proportions from the first. Mr. Thomann is one of the best known and most public-spirited citizens of the county. From 1880 to 1882 he served as a Supervisor of the county from Hot Springs Township. He has been a Director in the St. Helena Bank, in the St. Helena Bonded Warehouse, in the St. Turn Helena Verein, and a shareholder in the Water Company, an active worker and prominent figure in all he undertakes, but only now retains his connection with the Turn Verein. While in Sacramento he was a Democrat, but helped organize the Independent Taxpayers’ party, and was elected Supervisor here by the Republican party. He is a thorough business man and is hold in general esteem.
Mr. Thomann was married first in Sacramento, in 1862, to Miss Josephine Esch. She died in September, 1888, regretted by all. Four daughters remain as the fruit of this marriage, all of them at home, one son and two daughters being deceased. The names of those living are: Louisa, Annie, Laura and Bertha. Miss Annie is married to Mr. R. Hoehn. In October, 1889, Mr. Thomann was married a second time, to Miss Mary Miller, of Dixon, Solano County, a most estimable lady.
JEROME BARDOT.-This gentleman is the cellar-master for Hon. A. L. Tubbs at his beautiful summer residence at Hillcrest, Napa County. Mr. Bardot is a native of Arbois, in the Jura, France, where he was born in 1858. He was born and brought up in the center of the wine districts of France, to the practical business of vigneron, and is a thoroughly skilled and experienced man. He was educated at the celebrated Arbois College for wine-making, graduating under eighteen professors. In 1878 he came to California and to Napa County, entering the employment of J. Schram, with whom he remained as cellar master for six years and eight months, doing very much to establish the high reputation that the Schramsberger wines have attained. His wines here took gold medals at Sacramento and at London, England, for superior excellence. In 1885 Mr. Bardot went back to Europe, and made an extended visit throughout all the wine regions. He carried with him samples of the California wines, and caused considerable surprise among his friends by their excellence. He returned to California in time for the vintage of 1885, and worked for the Napa Valley Wine Company. In 1886 he entered the employment of Mr. Tubbs, and came up to Hillcrest to take full charge of his cellars and the business of wine-making. Mr. Bardot is an ambitious man and is determined to succeed. He is active, energetic and in every wise successful, and under his hands we predict great success and high reputation for Mr. Tubbs’ wines. He is an American citizen.
Mr. Bardot was married in San Francisco, June 6, 1887 to Miss Marie Vescheidt, a native of Cincinnati. They have one child.
A Memorial &
Biographical History of Northern California: Chicago : The Lewis
Publishing Company, 1891
Transcribed by Carol Andrews, 6 September 2008 - Pages 804-820
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