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Madera Biographies: Hope


Front row: George Hope, Thayne Hope
Second row: Laura Hope, Edgar Hope (father), Lizzie Hope (mother), Versa Hope
Third row: Marion Hope, Frank Hope, Edith Hope

Married names of daughters:
Edith Crowder, Laura Sullivan, Versa Stephenson, Thayne Gibson

   EDGAR GRAHAM HOPE.  Of pioneer ancestry, and a resident of California since his boyhood, Edgar Graham Hope has witnessed wonderful transformations in the face of the country, and has ably assisted in the development and promotion of its industrial progress.  His finely improved ranch, a part of which he inherited from his parents, lies about ten miles south of the city of Madera, and is one of the most attractive and productive in the vicinity.  A skillful, thrifty and enterprising farmer, he holds a position of prominence among the leading agriculturists of this section of the state, and is a worthy representative of all that constitutes an exemplary citizen.  A son of Aquilla M. Hope, he was born January 29, 1841, in Kentucky, but was reared in Missouri and California.

   Born in Baltimore, Md., Aquilla M. Hope learned the trade of millwright, which he subsequently followed in conjunction with farming in Kentucky for fifteen years.  Removing with his family to Scotland County, Mo., in 1844, he was there actively engaged in many industries working as millwright, farmer and stock-raiser, and as tanner.  In 1852 he came across the plains with his family, in an ox-team train, and located in Santa Clara County, where he had the distinction of grinding the fist sack of flour made in the Santa Clara Mills.  Removing to Contra Costa County in 1853 he remained there two years, being employed in milling and stock raising.  The following year he spent in Amador County, and then removed to Westpoint, Calaveras County, where he was successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits from 1856 to 1873.  Coming then to what was at that time, Fresno County with his family, he bought a ranch of one thousand two hundred and fifty acres of land, which is now included within the limits of Madera County, and here followed his free and independent occupation until his death, at the age of seventy-six years.  He made a specialty of wheat raising, although for six years he was a sheep raiser and dealer, carrying on an extensive business in that line.  His wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Graham, was born in Virginia, the granddaughter of a Revolutionary soldier.  She died at the homestead in Madera County, at the age of seventy-nine years, and her body was laid beside that of her husband in the family burying-ground, on the home ranch.  She bore her husband ten children, and of those two sons are California farmers, namely:  S. D. of Merced, who owns a ranch of three hundred and twenty acres in Madera County; and Edgar G., the subject of this sketch.

   Bred and receiving his early education in Scotland County, Mo., Edgar Graham Hope came with his parents to California in 1852, and subsequently lived with them in different places until coming to Madera County in 1873.  Subsequently learning the trade of blacksmith, he followed it for twelve years, having a blacksmith shop in Madera.  Inheriting from his parents one hundred and sixty acres of the old home place, he is now engaged in farming pursuits, and is meeting with great success.  He carries on a ranch of one thousand acres, raising large quantities of wheat, for which his land is especially adapted, averaging about seven hundred pounds to the acre.

   Mr. Hope married Elizabeth Edwards, and they are parents of seven children, namely:  George, a merchant in Madera; Frank E., a prosperous farmer, his ranch adjoining that of his father; Marion, a barber in Madera; Edith, wife of S. Crowder; Versa, wife of D. Stevenson, of Oakland, Laura, and Thomas.  Politically Mr. Hope is a sound Democrat, but has never been an aspirant of official honors.

Guinn, J. M., History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, (Chicago: Chapman Publishing, 1905), page 1282.

Transcribed by Harriet Sturk.

Last update: September 15, 2000
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