History of Northern California




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 D P. DIGGS, a rancher of Yolo County, and a worthy old pioneer of '49, has had  life-history of more than usual variety and interest, and it is with great pleasure that we give, the biography a prominent place in the pages of our work, as is due to its historical importance.  

Mr. Diggs was born April 8, 1827, in Montgomery County, Missouri, and is the son of Captain and Jane (Pace) Higgs. Captain Diggs, his father, was born in the State of Vermont, while his mother was a native of Madison County, Kentucky. The father served his country throughout the war of 1812, being in command of a company of soldiers. He was a farmer by trade, and was one of the earliest as well as most respected settlers in Missouri. The subject of this sketch was brought up in Montgomery County, arid received his education in the schools of the section. In 1848 he went to New Mexico, in connection with the Mexican war, but returned to Missouri in 1849, and set out at once for California, crossing the plains with ox teams. He went directly to Coloma and found work for six months, driving a team at Sutter's celebrated mill, being employed by the owners of the mill at $350 a month and board. Mr. Diggs built the corral that stood beside the old warehouse in those early days. On the Fourth of July, 1849, Mr. Diggs and others, did honor to the day by hoisting a home-made American flag on the gable end of their cabin. It was constructed out of red, white and blue shirts, with oak leaves for stars. In 1850 he went to Yolo County, there being then just three settlers on Cache Creek, when he went there. He is now the owner of 350 acres of exceedingly fine land, all well improved and under fence. It lies five miles northwest of Woodland. In conclusion, we should say that Mr. Diggs is a type of our best American citizen, diligent, progressive and prosperous.  

He is married to Miss Janet E. Hines, who was born in Ray County, Missouri, in 1837. They have six children, as follows: Mary A., Elnorah A., Irvine P., Sarah S., Maria H. and Marshall M.  [Pages 701 - 702]

G W. WHITMAN, a well-known farmer of Contra Costa County, was born in Green-briar County, Virginia, September 21,1809, the son of William and Elizabeth (Erwin)Whitman. The father, a farmer by vocation, was a native of the State of New York, and the other was a native of Virginia. At the age of seventeen years the subject of this notice went to Chillicothe, Koss County, Ohio, and four years subsequently' to Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana, where he studied law for three years; he then made his home at Cambridge, that State, until 1849, when, in October, he sailed from New York State to California, byway of Cape Horn, landing in San Francisco May 6 following. He followed mining at various points throughout this State, mostly in Merced County. In 1863 he went to Sonoma County and, owning a large tract of land there, he devoted all his attention to his fruit-raising and wine-making. In 1883 he settled upon his present place of 228 acres eight miles from  Martinez, where he has a fine orchard of thirty acres and a splendid vineyard of fifty acres, de-voted to table grapes. 

Mr. Whitman married Miss Nancy Smith, who was born in Tennessee, January 1, 1809, and they have two children, — Henry H., born January 5, 1837; and Addie, August 7, 1831.Mr. Whitman was State Controller of California  in 1854; and previously, from 1842 to 1847, he was Judge of the Probate Court of Wayne County, Indiana, resigning his office during the latter year. [Page 701]

GEORGE W. PARDEE, a native of England, was born in Liverpool, February 18, 1852. His father was a seafaring man, and was captain of a vessel. In 1854 he emigrated to America and settled in Maryland. Here George W. received a limited education in the common schools. When quite young he went to Baltimore, where he served an apprenticeship, learning the blacksmiths' trade, remaining in the same shop for seven years. He then went to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he worked for a year and a half as a journeyman. In 1869 he went to Denver, Colorado, and remained three years, working the first year for Ed. Westcote, and the next two years for George Tritch and William  Allender. He then went to Georgetown and worked for Hood & Burnett, who were running the New England mine, a year and a half. He then went to Rosita, Colorado, where he worked at his trade two and a half years. In 1874 lie came to California, remaining about eight months in San Francisco. In 1875 he came to Middletown, Lake County, and worked till 1877, then came to Lower Lake. After working two years here, he engaged to work for the Sulphur Bank Quicksilver mine, in Lake County, where he remained for four years. He then returned to Lower Lake and engaged in business for himself where he has remained till the present time. Being industrious and honest, he has been successful and has the confidence and esteem of the com- munity in which he lives. He owns three houses and lots, beautifully located in the best part of the town of Lower Lake, one of which he occupies as a home: the others are occupied by tenants.  

He was married in 1879, to Miss Mollie Allen. They have two children, William and Lucetta, aged ten and five years respectively. Mr. Pardee is a member of the I. O. O. F. Page [700-701] 

F A. ALLEN, a farmer northwest of Woodland, is a son of Ambrose and Valeta " (Clark) Allen, natives of New York State who moved about 1836 to Illinois, where the father, a farmer by occupation, died in 1875, an exemplary member of the Christian Church and of the Odd Fellows' order; the mother died in 1876. The subject of this sketch was born in 1855, in Pike County, Illinois, where he grew up and received his education. In 1871 he went to Missouri, where he remained three years, and then he came to California by rail. In 1879 he purchased his present place of eighty acres, six miles and a half northwest of Woodland, where he is engaged in the raising of grain, clover and live-stock.  

For his wife he married Miss Susan F. Crellin, in Yolo County; she was born in 1857, in that County, and both her parents are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Allen have three children: John R., Maud and Eentie. [Page 700]

CROCKETT M. CRAWFORD, a native of Lake County, California, was born in Lakeport, April 14, 1860. He received his education in the public schools and the Lakeport Academy. He has been teaching in the schools of the County since 1881. He was elected to the State Legislature, November, 1888. He introduced a bill in the last session of the Assembly to provide free text-books for the public schools of the State, which passed both houses, but was vetoed by Governor R. W. Waterman. He also introduced what was known as the "Omnibus Educational bill," which be- came a law. The object of this bill was to perfect the school law. He has been principal of the Upper Lake schools for the past three years.  

He was married June 6, 1885, to Miss Nora Graham, who is also a native of California. They have two children : Velma and Amy, aged five and two years respectively. He a member of Lakeport Parlor, No. 147, N. S. of G. W. [Page 700]

I J. ELY, a farmer at Cacheville, Yolo County, is a son of Warren E. and Emily (Uthsbock) Ely. His father was born in Ken-tucky in 1811 and settled in Ralls County, Missouri, in early day, and continued there in his occupation of farming until his death; he was a Freemason of high standing. Themother, born also in Kentucky, in 1818, died in Ralls County, leaving five children, all sons. 

The subject of this sketch, the eldest of these sons, was born in that County, March 6, 1856,and received his school education there. In1857 he came overland with ox teams to California, being about six months on the road and suffering much privation. He earned his way by driving cattle the first three months and acting as cook the remainder of the time. At Genoa, Nevada County, he left the train and walked to Placerville, better known in those days as Hangtown; but three days after ward he went to Folsom and mined in Placer County, near by, for three months. Soon afterward he located at Cacheville, Yolo County, where he has since remained. His first work in that County was baling hay, which he followed five years, and he then, in 1864, purchased his present ranch of 800 acres of well improved land. He has also 330 acres in Sutter County, which is rented; a part is in clover and a part in pasture. 

In 1866, in Yolo County, he married Miss Mary Strode, who was born in 1842 in Missouri, and died in May, 1886, leaving the following five children: Emily J., Belle, deceased, Nora, Ervin, deceased, Cheston, deceased, Frank E., Rodney E. and Leslie S. [Page 699]

WILLIAM S. MONTGOMERY was born in Marion County, Missouri, December 25, 1848. His father, Alexander Montgomery, died in California, April 1, 1885, at the age of sixty-three years. His mother, Susan (Martin) Montgomery, is still living and resides in Woodland. They had a family of fifteen children, eleven of whom are living. Four died in infancy. Alexander Montgomery came to California in 1850, and engaged in mining for about one year. In January, 1851, he came to Yolo County, and took up Government land and began to improve it. The next winter he returned to Missouri, and in the spring of 1854 he started across the plains with his family, for his new home in California, where he arrived in September.

William S. received his education in the public schools of Yolo County and in the Hesperian College at Wood- land. In 1876 he went to Willows, Colusa County, where he built a business house and engaged in the hardware trade. In 1877 he sold out his business and went to Lassen County and took up land, on which he remained seven years. He then found out that his claim to the land was worthless, owing to the negligence or dishonesty of the land agent. He therefore disposed of his improvements for what he could get, and vacated the land. He then returned to Yolo County and took charge of his mother's farm, which he has superintended ever since. It contains 320 acres, which is principally devoted to the raising of grain. He owns forty acres of land, which he is preparing to plant in fruit.  

He was married March 7, 1872, to Miss Ralls, a native of Missouri. They had four children, three of whom are living. Adela, Etta and Elmer. In 1883 Mrs. Montgomery died. In 1885 Mr. Montgomery was married a second time, to Miss Magdalena Glockler, a native of California. Two daughters have resulted from this marriage — Gertrude and Caroline. Mr. M. is a member of the order of K. P. and I. O. O. F.  [Page 702]

WILLIAM THOMPSON, Justice of the Peace of Napa Township, has been a resident of California since 1856, and of Napa for about five years. He was born in Houston, Texas, in 1848. His father, Major J. H. Thompson, a native of Kentucky, was an officer in the army of the Republic of Texas, serving in the war of Texas against Mexico, under General Sam Houston. His mother was Miss Absola Thompson, a native of North Carolina, who died while Judge Thompson was an infant. His father soon removed to Arkansas, and in 1856 crossed the plains to California, settling at Benicia, Solano County, where he engaged in the practice of law. In 1857 he removed to Fairfield, in the same County, where he built the first house, continuing his law practice and serving as District Attorney for several years. Young Thompson was educated in the Fairfield public schools, and at the age of seventeen commenced to learn the drug business with Stockman Bros., where he remained for two years. After acting as agent for Wells, Fargo & Co. at Lakeport for eighteen months, he returned to Fairfield and took charge of T)r. M. S. McMahon's drug-store for four years. He studied law for three years with his father, and then engaged in the law office of Murphy, Shackleford & McPheters, at Salinas. In 1874 he went to Arizona, and became identified with mining interests about fifteen miles from Globe, in what was known as the Mineral Creek mining district. He became the first Recorder of that district. After remaining their three years, for the next three years he was engaged in prospecting through New and old Mexico and Arizona. Returning to California he located in Tulare County, where he farmed for a year, and was then for two years in charge of the Kaweah Canal. In 1874 he came to Napa, and engaged in the furniture and auction business, in which he continued until elected to his present office. While living in Tulare County he was married to Mrs. Anna J. Enlow, a native of Arkansas. They have three children : Annie Belle, Charles H. and an infant. One child, Benton Merlin, died in his second year. Judge Thompson is a member of the Ancient Order of Druids, of the Improved Order of Red Men, of the United Endowment Associates and the Royal Argosy. In 1871-'72 he was Assistant Engrossing Clerk of the State Senate. Is a member and secretary of the County (Central Committee of the Democratic party. The fact that he has been twice elected to his present office in a strong Republican town is a gratifying evidence of his personal popularity. He is now again reading law, and expects, when he shall retire from his present position, to permanently engage in the practice of his chosen profession. [Page 702-703]

BENJAMIN DEWELL, one of the earliest pioneers of California, emigrated from Indiana in 1845. The company with which he came started for Oregon, but, on ac- count of there being no roads or ferries, their progress was necessarily slow, and after passing Salt Lake their guides advised them, on account of the lateness of the season, to cross the mountains into California, which they did, arriving near Sonoma in October. They were six months and one day on the journey. Mr. Dewell made his first permanent settlement in 1850, in Guilicos Valley, lying between Santa Rosa and Sonoma, where he commenced improving land which he had selected for a home. He planted an orchard and vineyard, and many other valuable improvements, which he had to abandon after two years, as his location proved to be within the limits of a grant.  

In 1846, the war with Mexico having been inaugurated, the few Americans who had come to settle in California organized into a company for self-protection. In the spring of 1846 they captured Sonoma, which was held by General Vallejo and a small garrison. There were thirty-three Americans, who surprised the garrison at daylight, and effected a capture without difficulty. Mr. Dewell, with the assistance of two comrades, were the manufacturers of the celebrated Bear Flag. In 1854 he came to Upper Lake with his family and located on his present farm, his being the second family to to settle in what is now Lake County. He has 160 acres of as good land as can be found in any country, on which he raises grain, hay and stock. He also has a large orchard. He was married in 1850, to Miss Celia Elliott, a native of Missouri. They have nine children, living: Samuel M., Orlena and Luella (twins), Elmer E., May, Lottie, John, Charles W. and Irene. Sarah E. and Jane are dead. Mr. Dewell is a member of the I. O. O. F., of long standing. Politically he is thoroughly Republican. [Page 703-704] 

LOUIS SCHAFFERS, the proprietor of the Fashion Stables and a prominent citizen at Livermore, was born in the city of New York, October 30, 1854. In 1875 he came to San Francisco by rail, and was for a while employed in Oakland as a butcher for other parties, and then until the fall of 1882 he carried on the business there for himself. Then selling out he went to Livermore and continued in the same business for a year, and finally purchased the well-known Fashion Stables of Jones & Wilkinson, which he now conducts with a fine patronage, as he is able to furnish a goodly number of handsome “turn-outs," etc. He is Republican in his political views, and has been of considerable service to his party, taking a prominent part in politics for fifteen years. In 1885 he was elected Town Marshal; in 1886 Town Trustee, and in 1888 re-elected; in 1889 he was appointed Chief Engineer of the Fire Department, which position he now holds.  

He was married in Oakland, October 24, 1889, to Miss Caroline Fougure, and their two children are named Arthur L. and William. [Page 704]

A L. MARTINELLI, whose vineyard and dairy ranch is six miles from Napa, on the Carneros Creek, known as the Falk- land Ranch, has been in California twenty years, and for the past fourteen has been a resident of Napa County. His ranch comprises 1,360 acres, mostly rolling land, on which he formerly kept from 300 to 400 head of dairy cattle, but during the past two years he has reduced his dairy stock, and has engaged more extensively in general farming, having at present only about seventy head of milk stock. Most of the dairy product was butter for the San Francisco market, of which he used to ship from 1,200 to 1,400 pounds per week, but on account of the low price he has reduced production to a comparatively small amount. He is now putting in about 300 acres of wheat. He had on this place the first vineyard panted in Napa County, by Mrs. John B. Scott, the wife of the original owner. This vineyard was of the Mission variety, and being an inferior grape Mr. Martinelli has finally rooted them out. He has now only about five acres in vines.

He was born in the town of Maggia, Ticino, Switzerland, his parents being Fidele and Maria (Riccioli) Martinelli, natives of that country. He attended the usual schools of the town until he was fourteen years of age, when he came to America, proceeding directly to California by way of the Isthmus. He obtained employment at once in the dairy business in Marin County for two years, then for one year in Sonoma, finally en- gaging in dairying on his own account in Sonoma County. In the fall of 1875 he removed to his present place, renting at first and later purcliasing the ranch, where he has lived ever since.

He was married in 1881, to Miss Ida Welch, a native of Vallejo, and daughter of Philip and Elizabeth (McConnell) Welch. They have four children, Marj, Edward, Loretta and Rosa. Mr. Martineili is a member of the Young Men's Institute, of Napa, and is a firm adherent of the Democratic party.  [Pages 704-705]

N CADENASSO, a well-known orchardist of the faiuous Capay Valley, was born  in Genoa, Italy, in February, 1835, a son of Angelo and Mary Cadenasso. He came to America in 1862, proceeding at once to this State, landing at San Francisco, where lie remained several years, engaged in vegetable gardening on rented ground. He was afterward in the livery business, which he sold out, and in 1872 went to Yolo County, where he rented land until 1878. He then purchased 160 acres in the Capay Valley, of which he has since sold a portion. His ranch at present contains about thirty-five acres, all in choice fruit trees and vines, now producing crops. On a part of his place is located the railroad station named in his honor, Cadenasso, which promises to be a thriving town.  

Mr. Cadenasso was united in matrimony, December 16, 1876, to Miss Antoinetta Daneri, a native of Chiavari, Italy, who came to America and to California in 1872. They have six children, namely: Silvio, Clelia, Atilio, Aurilio, Ida and Mantio. [Page 704]

C S THOMAS, deceased.— This gentleman, who came to Yolo County in an early ‘ day, was associated with her business interests for many years, and his career, therefore, becomes of special interest in this volume. The following sketch is gleaned from data now available:

He was born in Connecticut, December 20, 1810, but at an early age accompanied his parents on their removal to New York State, where he grew to manhood. He was there married, October 12, 1840, to Miss J L. Wallace, a native of New York State. About 1835 they removed to Wisconsin, and from there, in 1853, Mr. Thomas crossed the plains to California with his family, making the trip by the usual methods employed in those days. He located at Placerville, where he tried his fortune at mining for one day only. This limited ex- perience satisfied him, however, and he was soon thereafter engaged in merchandising. In 1855 he left Placerville and removed to Yolo County, located at Knight’s Landing, where he established a store and engaged in the grain business, building a warehouse for that purpose.  While there he was associated, at different times, with J. D. Laughenauer and W. W.  Brownell, the businesses being, respectively, Thomas & Laughenauer and Thomas & Brownell. About 1868 he sold out his business interests at Knight’s Landing, removed to Oakland, and while there entered into partnership with W.  G. Hunt in the grain business, with head-quar- ters at Woodland, their office being where the Bryns Hotel now stands. After a residence of one year at Oakland, Mr. Thomas removed to Vallejo, where the firm built a large grain ware- house, and thereafter carried on business at both places. Two years after removing to Vallejo, Mr. Thomas disposed of his warehouse interests there, and came to Woodland, which was thereafter his home. He still remained a member of the firm of Thomas & Hunt, which be- came widely known throughout the Sacramento Valley, and was in active business until the time of his death, which occurred August 10, 1882.  He was a stanch Republican in his political preferences, but was in no sense a politician.  However, while a young man in Wisconsin, he had held the office of Sheriff of the County in which he resided. He was an enterprising, public-spirited man, and besides his handsome residence built several brick blocks there, which are still the property of his family. He was a man much respected for his sterling traits of character, and was honored and greatly respected by the entire farming community, with which he had long been engaged in business, as well as by his neighbors in Woodland. His death was mourned and deplored as a loss to the County.  His widow is yet a resident of Woodland Mr.  and Mrs. Thomas were the parents of two children, both of whom have grown to maturity, and are residents of this city, viz.: Addie E., wife of F. E. Baker; and C. F., whose sketch follows: [Page 704]

C F. THOMAS, one of the foremost young men of this community, who holds no less a position than that of cashier of that great financial institution, the Bank of Wood- land, was born in Sutter County, California, January 22, 1859. Soon after his birth the family removed to Yolo County, and with the exception of a year at Oakland and two at Vallejo, he has been a resident of this County ever since. After receiving a common school education he was, at the early age of fourteen years, placed in charge of the extensive grain ware- houses of Thomas & Hunt, at Woodland and Black’s. At the age of sixteen he embarked in the merchandise business, which claimed his attention until October 1, 1877. He was then but eighteen years of age, yet was tendered the position of accountant in the bank. Considering his youth and the importance of the position, this office would seem as novel as it was flattering, yet his business success already won justified the judgment of [the bank officials in their selection. He assumed the duties of his new post with his accustomed matter-of-fact determination, and so ably and satisfactorily were his duties performed that in 1883 he was advanced to the position of cashier. It is probable that lie was then the youngest man serving in that capacity in a bank of such prominence in the United States, yet the position was well filled to the entire satisfaction of the bank’s officers and customers, and it is safe to say that there is not in California a more popular bank official.

Mr. Thomas is deeply interested in the welfare and prosperity of Yolo County, and is. always ready and willing to identify himself with any movement having for its object the advancement of the interests of this community.  The business ability which won for him his position in the bank has also been called into play in the handling of outside investments, a number of which he has. Besides considerable Woodland realty, he has 5,000 acres of country land, located in Yolo, Colusa, Stanislaus and Tehama counties.

Mr. Thomas was married, January 26, 1880, to Miss Agnes Bullock, daughter of the late J.  P. Bullock, who was one of this County’s oldest and best citizens. Their cottage on First Street is a model of beauty and comfort.

Mr. Thomas enjoys the fullest confidence of his employers, and is deeply interested in the welfare of the bank, as he considers it a great honor to be connected with an institution of such standing, which, as is well known, is second to none in this State.

He enjoys the highest respect of the people of Yolo County, and people of all classes, rich and poor, are proud to call him friend.  [Pages 704 - 705]

J MONGINI has a ranch of 140 acres about three and a half miles from Napa, on which is a small family orchard of various fruit and nut-bearing trees, and forty acres of vineyard. He has also a small winery, with storage capacity for 25,000 gallons. He purchased this place about eleven years ago, and began planting it out in grapes and his family orchard. Fifteen acres have been in fruit for about ten years, and the remainder has come into bearing at intervals since that time. He was born in Toriglia, Province of Genoa, Italy, in 1839, and worked as a lad in the silver and quicksilver mines of Sardinia until he came to America in 1868. He was married in 1866 to Miss Theresa Navonia, a native of the same province in Italy. There are three children living: Louise, Joseph and Frederic. Remaining in New York for some time after arriving in this country, he reached San Francisco in 1870, and at first worked in San Jose and Livermore, and a few months in Napa. He then returned to San Francisco, where he remained for about eight years; but, remembering the beautiful vineyards of his native land, and its wonderful resemblance in soil and climate to that of Napa Valley, he decided to settle there, and purchased his present ranch, in the cultivation of which he has been very successful. Mr.  Mongini has heretofore sold the most of his grapes to the wine cellars in Napa, but this year (1889) he has made them all into wine, and has on hand about 12,000 gallons. [Page 707]

HIRAM BAILEY, of Livermore, is a native of Ontario County, New York, born January 10, 1832, and was there reared and educated. In 1852 he came to California, leaving New York on the steamer United States, making the trip via Panama, and landing at San Francisco from the steamer Isthmus, March 24, 1852. He first went to Marysville, where, however, he did not remain long, but soon went to Contra Costa County, near the Alameda line, were he remained six months. He then went to the Moracra red- woods, where he was engaged in making shingles, posts and rails, and hauling the lumber by oxen into the valley. He came to this County on the 29th of August, 1855, and having learned the carpenter’s trade in his New York home he undertook and carried to completion the building of a house for Jose, son of Robert Livermore. That house was located on what is now known as the Robertson ranch, some three miles or more east of Livermore.  After a couple of years in this vicinity as a carpenter, he gave up that trade and embarked in cattle dealing, which engaged his attention un- til 1860. lie then commenced farming about four miles and a half northeast of Livermore, and so continued until 1874, when he moved into Livermore. In the spring of 1874 he was elected Assessor of Murray Township, being the first one elected in that capacity for the town- ship under the new law. Retiring from that position two years later, he was for the next year in the butchering business. Later, he held the position of Deputy Assessor for two years. In the fall of 1882 he was elected Supervisor of this district, and served a term of two years with credit in the board, in which he was chairman of the Franchise Committee. In 1886 lie was elected to the General Assembly of California, and in that body was chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, and a member of the Enrollment Committee. In the fall of 1888 lie was again chosen by the electors of the district to a membership in the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County, in which he is an influential and active working member. He is chairman of the Hospital Committee, and a member of those on Roads and Bridges, Franchises, and Auditing.

Mr. Bailey was married in this County, on the 24th of June, 1860, to Miss Cassimira Funtes, step-daughter of Robert Livermore. They have had live children, four living, viz.: Josie, Albert (who died at the age of twenty -two years and live months), Rebecca, Willie and Mamie.

Mr. Bailey is a member of Mosaic Lodge, No. 218, F. & A. M., and of Doric Chapter, R.  A. M., of Livermore; of Oakland Command- ery, K. T. ; of Livermore Lodge, No. 219, I.  O. 0. F., and of the local lodge, A. O. U. AV.

Mr. Bailey has always taken an active part in public affairs, and has lent his best efforts in behalf of the people’s interests; hence he has always been popular, and the interests of the County are considered thoroughly safe in such hands as his. [Page 707]


O M ADAMS has for the past twenty-five  years been a resident of California, and for the past live years an occupant of his ranch two and a half miles from Napa, on the Sonoma road, where he has an orchard of twenty- five acres and a vineyard of fifty acres. In the orchard are French and English prunes, two acres; peaches, two acres; apples, two acres; and the remainder in Bartlett and Winter Nelis pears; while the vineyard comprises mostly Golden Chasselas and Zinfandel grapes.  Mr. Adams was horn in New Hampshire, in 1837, and in his youth completed a course at Amherst (Massachusetts) College, graduating in 1856. He then came to Chicago, where he engaged in teaching for about four years in the public schools. Next he was engaged in the wholesale coal trade for Price, Morris & Co.  In 1862 lie enlisted in the Chicago Mercantile Battery, with which he served under Sherman at the battle of Arkansas Post, in a severe skirmish on Black River, and in four other sharp engagements before arriving at Champion Hills, In the noted engagement at the latter point he suffered a bullet wound in the leg, which required two years to be healed. About four months after receiving this wound he was discharged for disability. As soon as it was possible, he went to work, taking the position of Chief Clerk for the First Commissary at Chicago for about two years. He then came to California, by the Panama route, arriving in San Francisco in 1866. First he engaged in mining for two years, in both Nevada and California; next he was a teacher in Oakland College, — an institution afterward purchased by the State and converted into the preparatory department of the State University. After a service there of nearly four years, he was for eleven years principal of the high school at Sacramento. In 1884 he purchased his present home of 160 acres. Mr. Adams is a member or the Masonic order of Sacramento Commandery, No. 2, K. T., and of the Chapter; and he holds demits, as his lodges are too distant for his attendance. His parents were O.  M. and Fannie (Stearns) Adams, natives and residents of New Hampshire. [Page 708]

JACOB HANNA, proprietor of the Liver- more Roller Mills, is a native of Illinois, born in Warren County, near Monmouth, August 18, 1853, his parents being William and Rebecca (Cresswell) Hunna, the former a native of Indiana, and the latter of Ohio. The father removed to Illinois in an early day, and opened up one among the first farms near Center Grove, in that State. In 1860 the family came to California by water, landing at San Francisco from the steamer Golden Gate. The steamer was destroyed by fire on her next trip.  After one year without permanent settlement in the State, the family located at Gilroy, Santa Clara County, where Mr. Hanna, Sr., embarked in the lumber trade, and was so engaged until his retirement from business a few years ago.

Our subject grew up in Gilroy, and there received his education, with the exception of a commercial course taken at the Pacific Business College, San Francisco, in 1875. He then re- turned to Gilroy and was connected with the lumber business there until the summer of 1879, when he went to Texas. He engaged in the cattle business, not far from Austin, which employed his attention until the summer of 1886, when he returned to California. In the spring of 1887 he came to Livermore, for the purpose of buying an interest in the roller mills, and has resided here ever since, being known as one of the most enterprising citizens.

Mr. Hanna was married at Gilroy, April 30, 1879, to Miss Clara R. Rea, daughter of Hon.  Thomas Rea, one of the leading citizens of Santa Clara County, and sister of State Railroad Commissioner Rea. They have three children, all boys, viz.: Thomas R., “Walter J. and Samuel C.

The Livermore Roller Mills, which Mr.  Hanna has conducted successfully, were built about the fall of 1884, by W. F. and Antone Laumeister. They carried on the business until the summer of 1887, when Jacob Hanna purchased the interest of Antone Laumeister.  In the spring of 1889 he also bought out W.  F. Laumeister, and carried on the milling business alone until May, 1890, when he took into partnership Mr. George Orbell, a practical miller. The mill building has a frontage of sixty feet by a depth of seventy, and is two stories in height. The plant is equipped with three stand of rolls, and has a capacity for turning out fifty barrels per day. The mill runs mainly on custom work for the local market, the principal output being wheat flour, though considerable barley is also ground. Recent improvements have been made in the way of re- fitting and remodeling, and the mill is now considered to be excellently equipped for the work before it.

The mill is equipped with a forty-horse- power engine, which Mr. Hanna uses in operating his electric light system for Livermore.  The A Waterhouse arc system is. in use here, and the plant was put in by Messrs. Hanna and Laumeister in 1888, the latter’s interest being subsequently purchased by Mr. Hanna. He uses a twelve-light machine, though but eleven lights are used in illuminating Livermore, which is done under a contract with the city.

Mr. Hanna is certainly deserving of credit for his enterprise, which has redounded to the benefit of Livermore. Though but a young man, there is no one who has been more active in the matter of improvements and advancement. [Pages 709 - 710]

D F MAJERS, one of the well-known farmers of Contra Costa County, dates his birth February 22, 1831, in Madison County, Kentucky. His mother, whose maiden name was Ellen Harris, was a native of Ohio, and is now aged seventy-four years; his father, Isham Harris, a native of Madison County, Kentucky, is a brick-mason by trade, and is still .living, at the age of eighty-five years, in Cass County, Missouri. When the subject of this sketch was but ten years of age, he was taken by his parents to Ashtabula County, Ohio, where he grew up, attending school, etc. At the age of twenty-five years he started for the land of gold, then apparently situated in the region of the golden sunset. Leaving Kansas City, Missouri, May 1, 1854, with a train of several wagons and twenty- six persons, he worked his way by driving stock, and landed in Martinez November 1, 1854; and ever since then he has been a farmer of Contra Costa County. He has prospered in his business, and now has a tine residence and is enjoying a beautiful home, three miles from Pacheco in Ygnacio Valley. This place of 263 acres he purchased in 1880, known then as the old H. K. W.  Clark’s place. Clark was a great land lawyer in Oakland, who was accidentally shot on this place by his son. Mr. Majers has put upon this place all the improvements now visible there.

In 1867 he returned to Ohio and brought back with him to California his newly wedded wife, Sarah Darmon, a native of the Buckeye State, born October 1, 1841; and tiiey now have one son. by name Edward, who was born April 19, 1869. Mr. Majers is a member of Facheco Lodge, No. 117, L O. O. F. [Page 710]

F M BEE, a farmer of Yolo County, is the son of Frederick and Katherine (Maxwell) Bee, natives of the State of New York. The mother died at the home where her only son, the subject of this sketch, resided, August 18, 1889; and the father is now at San Francisco, acting as Chinese Consul. The farm, belonging to both father and son, is now man- aged by the latter. Born in New York State, he was brought to California when an infant by his parents, who came by way of the Isthmus.  On arrival in this State, the family was first located in Hangtown, where the elder Mr. Bee engaged in mining and in the management of a provision store, employing a large number of men in the former industry. Arriving at the age of sixteen years, Mr. F. M. Bee attended a boarding-school at Oakland and quit at the age of eighteen, intending to follow book-keeping; but his health failed and he began work upon his father’s ranch in Sonoma County, near Petaluma. Two years afterward, November 1, 1888, he came to his present ranch, intending to remain faithful in the service and care of his father, as he had already done for his mother up to the time of her death. She was fifty-eight years old when she died. Mr. Bee is yet un- married, and is the only child. Upon the ranch of 140 acres of well-improved land, he is engaged principally in the raising of wine and table grapes. [Page 710]

EDWIN Z. HENNESSEY has resided in this State and in Napa since 1884. He was born in Decatur, Illinois, in 1863, his parents being William and Susan (White) Hennessey. His father was one of the brothers whose name has become famous the world over as the distillers of the celebrated Hennessey brandies in various parts of Europe, and he established a distillery at Paw Paw, Michigan, which lie conducted for a number of years. The Doctor received his early education in the public schools of Decatur, and began his preparation for a medical career by becoming proficient as a druggist. He then entered the office of Dr.  E. S. Elder, of Indianapolis, Indiana, who was at that time secretary of the State Board of Health, and Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine in the State Medical College of Indiana. While with Dr. Elder he attended lectures and graduated as an M. D. in the class of 1883. He acted for some time as interne at an orphan asylum, after his graduation, and coming to California he commenced the practice of medicine in Napa in 1884. Here he has been fortunate in building up a large and successful practice, especially in surgical operations, holding the position of Surgeon of the County Infirmary, and meeting with exceptional success in the conduct of that institution. Dr. Hennessey has an elegant home in Napa as the result of his extensive practice.  He was married in 1884 to Miss Lottie Fisher, a native of Indiana, and daughter of Andrew and Nellie (Farrie) Fisher, of Indianapolis.  He is a member of Napa Lodge of the Improved Order of Red Men, of the Napa County and State Medical societies, and of the Sydenham Medical Society of Indiana. [Page 711]

THEODORE GORNER, a prominent business man of Livermore, was born in Hamburg, Germany, October 31, 1850, and  emigrated to America in 1866. Arriving in San Francisco October 3 of the latter year, he began the trade of harness-maker and followed it there two years; and then he was in the same business in Oakland until 1873. In 1874 he located in Livermore, purchasing the harness  establishment of George Beebe, which he still carries on. He is also in the general auctioneering business in company with other gentlemen, and deals in real estate and other property, under the firm name of Dutcher, Gorner & Mc- Donald. Mr. Gorner also carries a large stock of wagons, carriages and other vehicles, in which he has about $3,000 invested. His business is growing upon his hands. He also has a furniture and upholstering establishment, established in 1884, and now, with a partner, under the firm name of Gorner & Wilkinson, has a stock of $8,000. Mr. Gorner has been City Treasurer three years, and in 1878-‘79 he was Town Clerk one year. He is a member of the I.O. O. F., is a charter member of the society of Sons of Hermann, of Livermore, which was established in 1887, with a membership of eighty. He is also an active Republican.

Mr. Gorner was married in Oakland, March 28, 1874, to Miss Katie Pink, of that place, and they have five children: Dora, Katie, Walter, Alma and Elsie. [Page 711]

V SLADE, a farmer near Winters, Yolo County, was born December 8, 1822, in Baltimore County, Maryland, a son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Pierce) Slade, natives of Maryland. The father, a farmer by occupation, remained a resident of that County until his death, which occurred in 1856; the mother died at the same place a few years later. Mr.  Slade was brought up on a farm, working on the home place until he was thirty years of age.  He then spent two years in Illinois as a farm laborer, and in 1859 he came overland by ox teams to California, the journey occupying the time from April to September. The first two years in this State he was in Solano County, and then for some time alternately in Solano and Yolo counties; and then he purchased land in Sonoma County, which he occupied for two years; then he sold out there, in 1875, and purchased his present property, three and a half miles east of Winters. This is a very tine place; the residence is so situated that an observer there obtains a very tine view of all the country around. The farm comprises about 260 acres of choice bottom land, well set to vines and other fruits. He also raises a great many vegetables. He has packing sheds and all necessary equipments for carrying on the fruit business.

He was married, in 1843, to Elizabeth Mathews, a native of Maryland, and of their seven children two sons and three daughters are living. [Page 712]

PATRICK CALLAHAN, engaged extensively in the rearing of live-stock, especially sheep, near Livermore. He was born in County Donegal, north Ireland, February 21, 1840, and was brought up in agricultural pursuits. In 1862 he went to Melbourne, Australia, and was engaged in mining in that vicinity five years. In 1867 he left that country and landed in San Francisco August 28, 1868, where he was occupied for a year in water delivery. In 1869 he went to Livermore and purchased a ranch, where he carries on general farming and raises live-stock, especially sheep, of which he always has on hand 3,000 to 8,000 head. The fleece is an annual average of fif- teen pounds to the head. Mr. Callahan has been identified with several prominent enterprises in the County, among them the Farmers’ Union. He is a stanch Democrat, and has been for nine years one of the Town Trustees.

He was united in matrimony May 21, 1873, in San Francisco, to Miss Mary McBride. The names of their four children are: John R., Mary E., Margaret A. and William H. [Page 712]

GEORGE C. STANLEY, a prominent citizen of Livennore, was bon November 15, 1839, in Randolph, Vermont, where he was educated and learned the trade of wood- turning. In 1860 he came to California by way of Panama, landing in San Francisco. For the first year he was engaged in various occupations, and then he went to the Cariboo country and followed mining about a year. Then he came to Centerville, this State, and engaged in teaming over the Sierra Nevada mountains for a period of three years; next he followed ranching for a abort time near San Jose; then he located at Pleasanton for three years, in the same business; and finally, selling out that place, he went to Livermore and purchased another farm, which he still occupies. He also deals in real estate, and has been engaged in general mercantile business. He is a member of Vesper Lodge, No. 62, A. O. U. W., at Livermore.

In November, 1870, in Livermore. he married Mellie Patterson, who died leaving one child. Mr. Stanley, October 20, 1879, married Miss Emma Reed, and they have two children: George R. and Leiand. [Page 712]

WILLIAM A. PRYOR is a native son of the Golden West and an enterprising “3 business man of Shasta. He was l)orn Vallicita, Calaveras County, California, June 16, 1853. His father, Joseph Pryor, was one of the well known and highly respected pioneers of Calltbrnia. He was born in Cornwall, Eng- land, June 16, 1826, of English parents. In 1846 he emigrated to Australia and engaged in mining. He married Miss Priscilla Thomas in 1849. She and her ancestors were English people. Soon after their marriage they came to California, where Mr. Pryor was successfully engaged in mining for some time in Tnolumne and Calaveras counties In 1854 they came to Shasta County and purchased a ranch, located twelve miles west of Shasta, known as the Dr.  Hulen  Ranch. This they farmed for nine or ten years. In 1863 they came to Shasta and lived here for several years, until 1878, when they removed to Red Bluff. They were residing there in 1879 when Mr. Pryor’s death occurred. His bereaved family and the Masonic fraternity, of which he had been a worthy member, gathered around his last resting place and repeated their beautiful and impressive burial service. He was a kind and affectionate husband, an indulgent father and a most worthy citizen, and he died in the full strength of matured manhood, in his fifty-fourth year, lamented by all who knew him.

William A. Pryor, the subject of this sketch, was the second son of a family of four children.  His education was obtained in the public schools of Shasta. When fifteen years of age he went to learn the drug business and remained in one store eight years. Then for a time he was prescription clerk in a drug store in Sacramento.  After this lie was clerk and book-keeper for J. E. Church, of Red Bluff. In 1884 he purchased his present drug business in Shasta, where he has a nice, well kept stock and enjoys the trade of the town. In 1885 he was appointed Postmaster at Shasta and served until 1889, when he resigned.

In 1885 he was united in marriage to Miss Josephine Litsch, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs.  Charles Litsch, also well known early settlers of this County. Mr. Litsch was a native of Ger- many, born at Renchen, Grand Dutchy of Baden, in 1823; came to the United States in 1849, and across the plains to California in 1851. Upon his arrival in this State he engaged in mining in Placerville, El Dorado County. In 1852 he worked at his trade, that of baker, in Sacramento, and in the same year went to Colusa, where he was employed as a baker until the middle of 1853. After the fire at that place he purchased a team and was engaged in teaming for a time, when he located in Shasta, where he purchased a bakery’ of Messrs. Potts & Muff. In 1854 he built the two-story brick store in which Mr. Pryor’s drug store is now located. In 1870 he engaged in the brewing business and carried it on success- fully until the 28th day of May, 1884, when his death occurred.

Mr. and Mrs. Pryor have one daughter, Alice Maud, born in Shasta. Mr. Pryor is manager of the Shasta telegraph office. He is a charter member of Shasta Parlor, No. 35, Native Sons of the Golden West. He is also a member of Castle Lodge, No. 62, K. of P, Red Bluff.

Mr. Pryor’s mother, an amiable lady, resides with her son in Shasta. [Pages 712 - 713]

B F. THOMAS, a resident of Livermore, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, November 7, 1885. After receiving his school education he worked there in railroad shops for a year. In 1855 he came by sail around Cape Horn to the Golden Coast, arriving in San Francisco the next year, after a voyage of six months and a quarantine of four months at Rio Janeiro, where eighteen of the twenty-four of the ship’s crew died of yellow fever. The first two years in this State Mr.  Thomas was a grocer in San Francisco; next he had charge of William Hayward’s boat in freighting between Haywards and San Francisco by river, and driving stage between Haywards and San Antonio, now Oakland, while he made his home in Oakland, until 1858, when he began work as a carpenter. After being employed as a journeyman for three years, he began contracting and building, and acted in that capacity for ten years, and then he purchased and began to operate a steam thresher throughout Alameda County, and he is still connected with that business, giving steady employment to twenty-two men and the same number of horses to each machine. He has been a resident of Livermore six years; is a member of Livermore Lodge, No. 218, F. & A. M.; of Sycamore Lodge, No.  129, I. O. O. F., of Hay wards, and of the Encampment also of that place. [Page 713]

PATRICK FLANAGAN, wagon and carriage manufacturer at Livermore, was born ^k. in County Galway, Ireland, February 28, 1850, and when he was a small child his parents left him with relatives while they emigrated to America. Some years later he came also and joined them at Litchfield, Connecticut, where they were residing. He learned the black- smith’s trade at Salisbury, Connecticut. In 1868 he went to Bridgeport, same State, and was engaged in the manufactory of Hoskis & Sons, in the building of wagons and carriages, blacksmithing, etc. In 1875 he came by rail to California and worked as a journeyman blacksmith in the shop of John Aylward at Livermore for about four years, and in 1880 he established himself in business in that town.  For his wife he took in wedlock Miss Annie Nevin, October 2, 1884. The names of their three children are Annie M., Thomas E. and Mary. [Page 713]


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

Transcribed by Martha A Crosley Graham, 10 October 2008 - Page Numbers listed with Biography


Site Created: 10 September 2008

Martha A Crosley Graham

Rights Reserved: 2008