Merced County, California

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Himself a pioneer of California, and the descendant of one of the earliest settlers in this part of the State, Stephen M. Pate was born on the old Pate ranch, in Mariposa County, on February 19, 1859, the youngest child born to his parents, Francis Marion and Lorinda (Cornett) Pate. Francis Marion Pate was a native of Alabama, the son of a planter; he entered the U. S. Army under Taylor, in the Mexican War, and after the war continued on to California, reaching Los Angeles in 1848, with his horse, saddle, and a few personal effects as his only resources. On hearing the news of the gold discovery, he came to this part of the State, and went into the Southern Mines. He later joined the military company which was responsible for the quelling of the Yosemite Indian troubles, being stationed at Fort Miller. His marriage, in 1852, at Agua Fria, Mariposa County, united him with Lorinda Cornett, nee Binge, who was born in Kentucky and married in Missouri. Her first husband died in 1850, and she, with her two sons and a daughter, accompanied a party of immigrants across the plains, in 1850, settling in Mariposa.

With his new family, the hardy pioneer settled on 160 acres of land in Mariposa County; this land was not then surveyed, but it proved to be the home place of the Pate family where Stephen M. was born. His father built with rude tools the first home, a cabin on the land they had chosen as a heritage ; titles to land were questionable, but he stayed, and won the right to his acreage. They had many bad years, and making a livelihood was very hard and strenuous for the pioneers of that early day; stock sold as high as twenty dollars per steer to the butcher ; they made butter and sold eggs, and this brought the only medium of exchange for many years. Mr. Pate, Sr. made journeys to Stockton for supplies before the railway was put in and these trips took seven days of hard traveling. He engaged in livestock, sheep and wool growing, and in the fifties, started with grain raising, and single-handed and by unremitting toil, strict integrity, and keen foresight, he added to his holdings by subsequent purchases until he owned 3000 acres at the time of his death. He was a staunch Republican, though born in the South, and was an active participant in the building up of his community in the days when each man had to stand on his own feet, or fail.

Stephen M. Pate received much of his schooling in private school, kept usually in the home, and attended for a time the Cathey Valley district school. Large for his age, much of his early life was spent in the saddle on the stock range, and as soon as he became old enough he followed the teaming and freighting business from Merced to Hornitos and the mines for six years ; he at one time owned five ten-animal teams all closely matched which were the pride of the young man; none on the road at that time had better stock and his teams were conspicuous on the highways, fine large mules, and large white draft horses. He conducted a stable, and owned his own blacksmith shop at Mt. Bullion, and before he reached his majority he was employing at times as high as twenty men. Mr. Pate later entered the stock and ranching business on his father's ranch. Finally buying the home place, he engaged in the cattle and hog-raising business. Cholera at one time struck down 500 head of his hogs in a season. He branched into extensive business, but never over-reached in his dealings, and was always known to be honest and straightforward, all of which no doubt contributed largely to his success. By subsequent purchases, he added were farming lands. He raised mules and horses for his own use, as well as for the market, and he engaged for six years in the sheep and wool business, as a breeder of Merino sheep.

In 1918, Mr. Pate moved to Le Grand, Merced County, after selling the old Pate ranch in 1917, and here he owns a fine home, constructed on the old Mission style of architecture, the property em­bracing eighty acres on the edge of town. In the meantime he has invested in other properties in Merced County, and his success has been remarkable. He built up the well-known Lone Tree Dairy, which sold nine years ago for $64,000. He owns 443 acres in the Merced Irrigation District, nine miles southwest of Merced, which is being farmed by his son, Harvey, who lives there with his wife and two daughters. Of late years Mr. Pate has become an extensive feeder of livestock for market, and rents range lands in Mariposa and Merced counties. One of the very rarest incidents in his life occurred in 1917, when for a period of twenty-four hours he was entirely out of business ; had no employees, etc., and it was the only like period in his entire business career of over forty-six years. Many of the men whom he employed during this long stretch of time have become successful, like himself, and this is one of his greatest sources of gratification: to see others prosper, too, and in building up their success, aid in the upbuilding of the district.

The first marriage of Mr. Pate, which occurred in the Cathey Valley, united him with Martha Andrews, a native of Illinois; her death occurred in June, 1906, survived by six children: Louis F., of Le Grand; Mrs. Olive L. Latour, of Merced; Samuel M., of Visalia; Mrs. Edna Hurd, of Oakland; Harvey W., of Merced; and Leota, now deceased.

On June 3, 1907, Mr. Pate's second marriage occurred, uniting him with Lottie Wilson, born in Stockton, the seventh of eight children born to Samuel and Malinda (Key) Wilson, natives of Kentucky who crossed the plains in 1853, and settled near Stockton and engaged in ranching. They moved to Merced in 1896, where both their deaths occurred. Their property was a valuable ranch on the edge of Merced, the present group of Merced High School buildings being now on a part of the property, it having been acquired from the heirs of the estate a few years ago. A staunch Democrat, Mr. Pate has never aspired to public office, except as pertains to his business interests. He is a charter member and president of the California Cattle Men's Association, and attends the meetings regularly, giving much of his time to the study of cooperative problems. Fraternally he is a Past Grand of the Merced Lodge No. 208, I. 0. 0. F.


Few if any families have been more intimately associated with the development of Merced County, and especially with the progress of Merced, than the one which is represented by John R. Graham, who is in every respect worthy of the name he bears, and of the esteem of the entire community. Coming to Merced County in 1892, he has since made this county his home and has been actively identified with numerous activities toward its local progress and the development of its material resources. In San Francisco, Cal., John R. Graham was born on January 1, 1869, a son of John and Elizabeth (Gardner) Graham. The father was born in Pennsylvania and came via Panama to California in 1851. In 1855 Miss Elizabeth Gardner crossed the plains with her parents; later she was united in marriage with John Graham. The father taught school in Tuolumne County and became superintendent of schools of that county in the late fifties. Later the family moved to San Francisco and there he engaged in the grocery and butcher business; then for a time he was in the dairy business. In 1890 he removed to Merced County, where he homesteaded a tract of land, but it was not until 1892 that he established a permanent resi­dence in the county. While on a visit to his old home in Pennsylvania he passed away; the mother is also deceased.

John R. Graham attended the public schools in San Francisco and his first money was earned in the employ of the American Tract Society, beginning when he was thirteen years old. From that company he went into the Bank of British Columbia and was with them for three years ; then for two and a half years he was employed by the Los Gatos Ice Company of San Francisco. In 1888 he be­gan working for the National. Ice Company in San Francisco and three years later he got his chance, when the company sent him on a two-weeks trip through the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys and told him to choose the town he thought had a future where an agency could be successfully established. "I found irrigation in Merced," says Mr. Graham today ; "and the town looked good to me, it still looks good to me." In 1892 Mr. Graham opened an agency in this bustling town, having a small ice house from which natural ice from Truckee was dispensed, with the aid of one helper. The sale of fuel was added in 1894, and in 1910 the present ice manufacturing plant was erected through Mr. Graham's effort in convincing the ice company of the strategic position of Merced in relation to a large agricultural area and to the Yosemite Valley. The company has never regretted the investment here, which is in the neighborhood of $75,000. This large business employs from twenty to twenty-five persons in summer and fourteen in winter. The average payroll is $3000 monthly. The production of ice is twenty-five tons every twenty-four hours, the storage capacity being 2000 tons; the surplus ice is stored away early in the year, until about July, when the storeroom is full and the demand reaches a point when more than the daily capacity is taken out. From this peakpoint on until the end of the season the surplus ice is gradually removed from the storage room. At the present Mr. Graham also handles crude oil, road oil, and fuel oil, gasoline, kerosene and distillate and is the representative of the Grant Rock & Gravel Company, and the Old Mission Portland Cement Company of San Juan.

The marriage of Mr. Graham united him with Miss Mable Farnell, born in Merced and a daughter of a pioneer family. Two sons have been born of this union , John R., Jr., and Donald R.; and there are two grandchildren, Robertson Bruce and Elaine. John R., Jr., enlisted in May, 1917, in the signal corps, went over seas with the 28th Aerial Squadron and served fourteen months. The record of Captain Graham, as he is familiarly known, is one of unselfish public service. In May, 1893, when Company H, 6th Infantry, N. G. C., was organized by him in Merced, his popularity was attested to by his being elected company commander and he served as such for six years. Later he was attached to Colonel W. R. Johnson's regimental staff, then to the Third Brigade staff of General M. W. Muller of California. Company H served actively under Captain Graham for thirty-one days during the railroad strike of 1894. Mr. Graham was a supervisor of Merced County during 1921, having been appointed a member of the board by Governor Stephens to fill the unexpired term of T. H. Scandrett. For twenty years Mr. Graham was an active member of the El Capitan Hose Company, and for two years was president of the Yosemite-to-the-Sea Good Roads Association which was organized in 1911 for the purpose of securing an all-the-year­round road from Yosemite Valley to the sea. This road costing $11,000,000 will be completed in 1925. Fraternally, Mr. Graham is a member of La Grange, now Yosemite, Lodge No. 99, F. & A. M.; Fresno Consistory of the Scottish Rite; Merced Chapter No. 12 R. A. M.; and Islam Temple A. A. 0. N. M. S. of San Francisco. He belongs to Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. 0. Elks and Yosemite Parlor No. 24, N. S. G. W., and is a member of the Rotary Club of Merced. He has been a member and a director of the Merced Chamber of Commerce for many years, and a director in the California State Automobile Association since 1914. He was one of the organizers who formed the Merced Irrigation District. During the World War Mr. Graham served as chief of the Merced County section of the American Protective League, this being a secret-service body under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice; he was the local secretary of the Merced Y. M. C. A., and directed its activities during the war ; was also a member of the Merced County Council of Defense under the direction of the National Council of Defense; and was district chairman of the Highways Transport Committee, Council of National Defense, of Division Three, comprising thirteen counties in Central California. Mr. and Mrs. Graham conducted a canteen for the benefit of the aviation section of the United States that was training at Mather Field, and took a very active part in Red Cross work. Mr. Graham served on every committee in each of the bond drives, giving his entire time to the national defense during the war.


Among the representative men in Merced County who are ably carrying on the traditions of their pioneer fathers who laid the foundation for our present-day civilization, is John A. Turner, familiarly known as "Archie" Turner, and named in honor of Col. Archibald Stevinson. Archibald Stevinson, John Mitchell and William C. Turner, the father of our subject, were the earliest settlers and principal early landowners on the Merced River.

Archie Turner was born on January 20, 1865, and has spent his whole life in his native county, where he attended the Jefferson school in pursuit of his education. He now owns 200 acres in the Irwin Precinct and 861 acres on the San Joaquin River, all of which is devoted to stock-raising and farming. Turner Avenue was named in honor of our subject for the part he has taken in advancing the interests of his community and county. A sketch of his father appears on another page of this history, and for him the Turner voting precinct was named.

Archie Turner was married in 1887, in Merced County, to Miss Kate Hicks, daughter of James Hicks, who served as county clerk. Of this union was born one child, a son Archie James, who is married and with his family of two sons, Clifford and William, resides on his 160-acre ranch on the San Joaquin River. Some time after the death of his first wife, Mr. Turner married a second time, this marriage uniting him with Blanche Olive McCarty, who was born in California, the daughter of William McCarty, of Merced County. By her there are five children : Elizabeth, a graduate of Armstrong's School in Berkeley, and now employed in a law office in Merced; Moneta and Clinton, who are students in the high school; Dorothy, a pupil in the grammar school; and Kenneth, who died aged four years.

Politically Mr. Turner is a Democrat of the liberal-minded class. He is an extensive stock-raiser, and having been raised in the saddle, he knows all the details of that business. He has bought and sold thousands of head of cattle. Mr. Turner is a stockholder in the First Bank of Livingston. He is a liberal contributor to all movements for the upbuilding of the county, and believes in and supports church organizations and schools, well knowing that the children of today will be the active men and women of tomorrow. In all his dealings with the people, he has been a strict observer of the golden rule, which has been his guide throughout his life.


Numbered among the successful farmers of Merced County is Rudolph Henry Bambauer, who located on his present home place of fifty-seven acres in 1896. This farm he developed to alfalfa, fruit and walnuts, also improved it with a comfortable residence and other necessary farm buildings, and for many years he has conducted a dairy with increasing profits each year. He was born in Columbia, Tuolumne County, Cal., December 16, 1859, a son of Charles and Adaline Bambauer, the former a native of Baden and the latter of Bavaria, Germany. Charles Bambauer came around the Horn to California in 1849 and engaged in mining in Tuolumne County; he married into a family who were pioneers of the Golden State and by this union there were eight children; Carrie, now the wife of C. A. Mills, of Berkeley; Rudolph Henry, the subject of this sketch; George S., deceased ; Charles D., of Santa Clara County; Louise, Frank, and Edward are deceased; and Louis of Pacific Grove. The father spent a few years in teaming from Stockton to the mountains; then removed to Paradise district of Stanislaus County, where he farmed. He next removed to Calaveras County and again engaged in freighting, and in 1871 the family came to Merced County, where the father took up a quarter-section of land in the Charleston district on the West Side south of Los Banos. The father removed to the Cottonwood district of the county, where he passed away at the age of sixty-three years; the mother lived to be seventy-seven years old.

Rudolph Henry Bambauer attended the Altaville district school in Tuolumne County, walking four miles to school each day during the school term ; at the age of eleven years he began working on farms earning his own living. In San Francisco he learned the butcher trade, which he followed for a year and a half with Miller & Lux. He then came to Merced and learned the blacksmith trade, which he followed for about eight years. He settled on the West Side and dry farmed for about twelve years, having 2280 acres in grain each season. He also worked on the first canal in 1877.

On October 18, 1896, Mr. Bambauer was married to Miss Ella Stahlman, a native of Indiana, and by this union five children have been born; Fred, deceased; Fulton R., associated with his father; Marvel E.; Adaline E.; and R. H. Jr. Mr. Bambauer generally prefers the principles of the Democratic party. He has served as an officer in Orestimba Lodge of Odd Fellows, but transferred to Romero Lodge at Gustine. He is also a member of the Encampment and with his wife belongs to the Rebekahs of Gustine. For about fourteen years Mr. Bambauer has served as deputy registration clerk in Merced County.



A citizen of much worth and character, who is widely esteemed by all who know him, is William Carl Jensen whose residence in Merced County really dates from 1897. He has made his influence felt for the best interests of the county and has won a position of prominence among the successful stock-raisers in the vicinity of Gustine. He was born on the Island of Foehr, in the province of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, on October 29, 1881, a son of William H. and Caroline Julia (Paulsen) Jensen. The father was first mate on a sailing vessel and spent his entire lifetime as a seaman. There were six children in this family; Oluf W. was also a seafaring man and was reported lost at sea off the coast of South America ; Catherine M., still lives at Foehr; Meta C., now Mrs. Hinrichsen lives at Foehr ; John D., resides at Gustine, Cal.; Nahmen, deceased; and William Carl, the sub­ject of this review. The father lived to a ripe old age ; the mother passed away in 1922. William Carl Jensen attended school in his native province until 1897, when he came to the United States and direct to Newman, Cal., and worked for Peter Miller on a ranch in Stanislaus County in the hills west of what is now the townsite of Gustine. Mr. Jensen attended school in the Cleveland district school in Stanislaus County and worked on Mr. Miller's ranch for several years. He then made a trip back to Germany and spent about six months visiting his home folks.

On August 29, 1905, at Newman, Cal., Mr. Jensen was married to Miss Gertie J. Miller, a native of Germany, who was brought to California when an infant by John H. and Johanna (Maas) Miller, her parents. Her father was a brother of Peter Miller, who settled seven miles southwest of Newman and acquired a section of land there. Mrs. Jensen was the only child born to her parents. The father passed away at the age of forty-two years and the mother was forty-five years old when she died. After his marriage Mr. Jensen leased the J. H. Miller ranch until Mrs. Miller died, when Mrs. Jensen fell heir to the property. They lived there until 1913 ; he still runs this section of land and leases besides 260 acres, making a total of 900 acres of hill land where he conducts an extensive stock business. In 1911 Mr. Jensen purchased fifty acres at the northwest corner of Gustine where he conducts a dairy varying from twenty to forty head of stock, and has about 1000 laying hens, and also about fifty head of Poland China hogs. Ever since 1914 Mr. Jensen has tested his cows for production, at first by a private company, but for several years the testing has been carried on under the auspices of the Merced County Farm Bureau, Mr. Jensen being a member of the Cottonwood Center of that body.

When the Cleveland school, of which Mr. Jensen served as a trustee, was discontinued, he purchased the school house and remodeled it into a comfortable farm house. He has been a member of the Newman Lutheran Church since coming to California and is now secretary-treasurer of the congregation. Politically, he is a Republican. Six children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Jensen; Caroline Julia, John H., William H., Alma M., Oluf N., and May Catherine.


Noteworthy among the successful agriculturists of Merced Coun­ty, was Hans Hansen, who passed away December 14, 1924, at Gustine. Born and reared on the farther side of the broad Atlantic, he became master of the various branches of agriculture when young, and after coming to this country followed the occupation to which he was reared. Energetic and ambitious, he was never satisfied with anything less than the highest possible results in his agricultural labors, and having added substantial improvements to his valuable farm, he carried on a most successful business in general farming, raising large crops of hay and grain, and some stock. He was born December 19, 1861, in Denmark, a son of Peter and Anna Christina (Johnsen) Hansen. His father and mother spent their entire lives in Denmark as farmers.

Brought up on the home farm, and obtaining his education in the common schools, Hans Hansen remained at home until eighteen years of age. Seeing but little opportunity to accumulate much wealth in his native land he immigrated to the United States in 1879, coming directly to Alameda County, Cal., where he secured work on a ranch. Going from there to Benicia, he was in the employ of Baker & Hamilton, manufacturers of implements, for two years. Resuming work as a ranchman, he lived at Crow's Landing for a while, and then settled in Merced County, where, from 1890 until 1892, he was employed in farming near what later became his home farm. Prudent and thrifty, Mr. Hansen accumulated considerable money during these years, and in 1892 bought the farm where he made his home for many years, consisting of 640 acres. Embarking in general agriculture, he met with success in his labors, his homestead property becoming one of the finest and most valuable in the vicinity, being well supplied with all the necessary buildings and appliances for carrying on his work after the most approved modern methods.

In San Francisco on October 1, 1890, Mr. Hansen married Christina Schmidt, a native of Denmark, and into their household six children were born, namely : Peter, Hans, Christina, Lillie, Mabel and Chester. A loyal and trusted citizen of his adopted country, Mr. Hansen was a supporter of the Democratic party, and a valued member of the Lutheran Church, toward the support of which he contributed generously.


A pioneer of California of the early eighties, John Frank Snyder was born in Trenton, Canada, on February 24, 1861, the son of Bliss and Phoebe (Smith) Snyder, farmers, who located at Syracuse, N. Y., where the father died at the age of forty; the mother lived to reach her seventy-second year. Their children living are: Mary, Caroline, Elizabeth and J. F. The fourth in a family of seven children, John Frank Snyder was thrown upon his resources at the age of fifteen, having attended the public schools up to that time. For the first two years he worked on farms near Syracuse, then went to Detroit, Mich., where he was, employed until he became of age. In 1881 the urge was too great and he came to California and took up government land in the foothills back of Crow's Landing, proved up on it, working around on ranches in the meantime, and then sold. In 1888 he leased the Ben Crow ranch of 640 acres and raised grain until 1897. Mr. Snyder helped build the first dairy barn used for a commercial dairy business on the West Side, that of Giovannoni and Crow. In 1897 he came into Merced County and, eight miles west of Ingomar, bought a section of land, to which he added another parcel at a later date; here he has engaged in raising grain and stock and has set out fifteen acres of walnuts. He now owns 640 acres of land where he resides.

On April 14, 1888, J. F. Snyder was united in marriage at Crow's Landing, with Miss Jean Niddrie, born at that place, the daughter of George and Ellen Niddrie, natives of Scotland and Ireland, respectively, who came to Crow's Landing in 1869 and settled in the hills west of that place. Her father was a farmer and stock raiser and lived to be seventy-five years of age ; her mother died at the age of forty-five. Mrs. Snyder's half-brother, Joseph, is also deceased. She attended the schools at Crow's Landing and here her marriage occurred. There have been nine children born to Mr. and Mrs. Snyder : George died at the age of ten years; Harry married Aileen Heacox and they have a son, Joseph Franklin; Ruby, became the wife of E. H. Osburn of Newman and has two children, Emerson Page and Robert Niddrie; Hazel, married Robert Butts of Gustine and has two children, George Edmund and James Robert; Helen M., married John Butts of Cloverdale and has one daughter, Dorothy Jean ; Helena May, a twin of Helen M., died in childhood; Nellie, Mrs. Robert Osburn of Newman, has a son Donald Cress ; Howard F.; and Genevieve Louise. Mr. Snyder is a Democrat. Fraternally he belongs to Hills Ferry Lodge No. 236, F. & A. M. at Newman. For twenty-five years he has served as a trustee of the Occidental school and for ten years of the Gustine Union High School.


The possession of a six-acre ranch within the city limits of Gustine has brought George Steele a realization of his desire for an ideal existence and a competence. The modern improvements which add to the value of his property are entirely of his own making, for when he settled in Gustine in 1897, the land was an undisturbed prairie, and at present it is devoted to general farming and raising chickens. Mr. Steele was born in Lancashire, England, April 1, 1876, a son of James and Anna ( McCarthy) Steele, both natives of England, but the latter of Irish descent. The father was a foreman in a steel plant in Barrow-in-Furness, England, and spent the remainder of his life there.

The education of George Steele was limited to the common schools of his native country and at twelve years of age he went to work on a farm. In 1892 he came to the United States and for two years worked in Woonsocket, R. I.; then going to Milford, Mass., he worked for five years and then came to California, going direct to the flag station then called Gustine. He found work on the Page ranch and by economy and industry was able to purchase forty acres of it in 1904; later he sold this ranch and invested the proceeds in his present home place of six acres within the city limits. For ten years Mr. Steele was road overseer for District. No. 4 and is still serving in that capacity.

At San Francisco, Cal., on September 13, 1913, Mr. Steele was married to Miss Edith May Simpson, born at Kendal, England, daughter of Richard and Sarah (Meyer) Simpson, both natives of the same country. Mr. and Mrs. Steele are the parents of two daughters and they adopted a girl when she was two and a half years old. The children's names are Elizabeth Meyers, Mary Ellen, and Gertrude Rhodes. Mr. Steele is a Republican in politics, and fraternally is a member of the Knights of Pythias of Newman. He serves as a trustee of Gustine, and also as school trustee for the Gustine Union High School and the Gustine Grammar School.


During the pioneer history of Illinois Henry Castle brought his family to that State from West Virginia and settled in Knox County in 1833, being among the early inhabitants of that locality, where he made his home until his death. He had a son Reuben, who was born in West Virginia and devoted all of his active life to farming in Knox County, where he died in 1894. Reuben Castle married Miss Mary A. Long, born in Pennsylvania, whence she accompanied her father, George Long, to Zanesville, Ohio, and from there, in 1835, to Knox County, Ill., where she married Mr. Castle. They had four children . Rufus served as a member of Company E, Eighty-third Illinois Infantry during the Civil War, and afterwards settled near Healdsburg, Cal., where he died. George H. was a lieutenant in the Fifty-ninth Illinois Infantry, from the beginning to the close of the war, being severely wounded before Atlanta. In later years he was an attorney in Shenandoah, Iowa. The only daughter, Mrs. Griffith, made her home in Omaha, Nebr., and it was at her home that the mother died in 1904.

Curtis H., the youngest son, was born near Galesburg, Ill., on October 4, 1848. He received an excellent schooling, attending Knox College until the close of his sophomore year, after which he became a student in the Northwestern University, from which he was gradu­ated in 1872, with the degree of A. B. ; later the degree of A. M. was conferred upon him by the same institution. After graduation he served as principal of the schools of Washington, Texas, for four years, during which time he spent all of his spare time in the study of medicine, which he supplemented with a course in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa. Graduating in 1878, he took up professional work in Fulton County, Ill., but soon removed to Wayland, Henry County, Iowa, and in 1882 came to California. He stopped in Los Angeles, then with a population of some 10,000 souls, at the beginning of the boom in that part of the State. The town was literally overrun with doctors and our subject decided he would seek some other location and accordingly went to Point Arena in Mendocino County. At that time it was a wild and undeveloped region and many times he rode thirty miles to see a patient, over trails on horseback through dense timber. He bought a dairy ranch of 120 acres, but this he sold when he came to Merced County in the winter of 1887.

Upon locating in Merced Dr. Castle built up a good medical practice. Merced was then a town of some 2000 people, had five doc­tors and the outlook was not promising until the following February, when the irrigation canals from Lake Yosemite were opened up. Dr. Castle was far-sighted and decided he would remain and take his chances, and although he has made several pilgrimages away from this county, he has always maintained it as his home. His first office was located on Front Street, later he moved to larger quarters on Main Street. It was during a temporary absence that he lost all of his equipment and a fine library in the fire of 1894, but he became reestablished in the Puritan Block, and later took as a partner, Dr. W. N. Sherman, and together they built up and maintained one of the leading practices in the county. He had established his residence on Nineteenth Street, then built a home on Twenty-first Street, selling that to take up the family home on Bear Creek, where he lived until moving to Bakersfield in January, 1925. His home was a model of convenience for a country estate.

While living in Illinois Dr. Castle was united in marriage with Miss Alma Tabor, born in Rhode Island and died in Illinois, leaving two children : Grace Imogene Schlief of Calistoga, who has four children; and Curtis H., of Merced, who has a daughter. His second marriage was solemnized in Merced and united him with Miss Virginia Wills, born in Mariposa County, by whom he has three children: Chandos Barrett, a graduate of the University of Oregon, an ensign in U. S. N. radio station at Pensacola, Fla., who has a wife and two children; Mary Mercedes Mahon, who has a son; and Genevieve Wills, class of 1924, San Jose Teachers' College. The Doctor is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and served on the local school board and as a member of the county board of education.

Until 1892 Dr. Castle was a Republican, but in that year he voted for the Populist candidate, and ever since he has been active in that party. He was a member of the Populist National Committee being chosen a delegate in 1896 and in 1904, but each time pressure of business made it impossible for him to attend. He was nominated for Congress at the convention of the Populist party held in Sacramento in 1896 ; later there was a fusion with the Democrats and he was the nominee on the joint ticket, and was elected by a majority of 240 votes, took his seat in March, 1897, and served through the extra session and through the regular session, until March 4, 1899. He was a member of the Committee on Pensions and did much to pass the pension bill for private pensions. The old Seventh Congressional district then included Stanislaus, San Benito, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Kern, Tulare, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and San Diego Counties. At the end of his first term he was once more nomi­nated by the Democratic and the regular Populist conventions, but was defeated by Needham by 125 votes. His service in the interest of the people had been one of fidelity. He carefully looked after the interest of his constituents and he retired to private life with an enviable record.



A man who stands high in the esteem of his associates as a leader in the profession of the law in the San Joaquin Valley, Elbridge Nelson Rector has the distinction of being a native son, born at Snelling, Merced County, January 6, 1865, the son of the late Elbridge Gerry Rector, whose biography appears on another page of this history. Elbridge Nelson Rector attended the local district school and then entered the Pacific Methodist College at Santa Rosa, and was grad­uated in 1889 with the A. B. degree. He was fitting himself for the law and next entered Hastings College of Law, a branch of the University of California, where he spent one year. He then began teaching school at Atwater, continuing for two years, to enable him to complete his law course, which in due time he did, graduating from Hastings College of Law in 1895 with the degree of LL.B. After his graduation he entered upon the practice of his profession in San Francisco, and the following year returned to his home county and began his professional work in Merced, a work which was to lead to high honors with the passing of the years. In 1900 he was elected, at a special election, to fill the high position of superior judge, which had been vacated by J. K. Law. He had been nominated and elected under the banner of the Democratic party; but in 1902 there was no Republican nominee for the post, and Judge Rector succeeded him­self and is still the incumbent in that high office. His high qualities of mind and his clear understanding of the law have made his years in office very satisfactory to the citizens of Merced County.

The marriage of Elbridge Nelson Rector united him with Miss Lillian Mae Nicholls, a native daughter of California, born in Placerville, and they have three children: Elbridge S., a high-school student; and Geraldine and Carolyn, pupils in the Merced Grammar School. Judge Rector is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in which he has been a trustee for many years. He is a member of the State Bar Association, the Chamber of Cornmerce, Lions' Club, Union League Club, and the Commonwealth Club of California, and a life member of the Luther Burbank Society. Fraternally, he is a member of the Moose and Native Sons. He takes a live interest in all clean sports, having been a sprinter in his college days, and is fond of out-of-door life. He is counted one of the most public spirited men of Merced County. The Judge has written several very creditable descriptive articles on famous California scenery, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and the High Sierras.


The descendant of one of the early settlers of the San Joaquin Valley and Merced County, George A. Schwinn is ably carrying on family traditions, and doing his share toward developing the resources of this section of California. Born on the old Johnson ranch, twenty-four miles southeast of Merced, in Merced County, July 19, 1884, he is the eldest of three sons born to Adam and Mary (Carey) Schwinn. Adam, a native of Reihnbon, Germany, born February 29, 1844, was a soldier in the German troops, but took leave in 1872, and with his brother, Fritz, came to New York. They drifted about for a time, and then came west, first locating in Stockton, where they worked for wages on ranches. Adam finally entered the employ of Robert Baxter, at Old Ellis, and with them came to Merced County, in 1874, where three years later he invested in the present home place, known as the old Johnson ranch. Here he engaged in sheep and wool growing, but sold out his stock, and in 1880 entered the cereal grain growing as joint owner with his brother, George, who two years later sold out his interest to Adam and the latter con­tinued in business until the time of his death, adding to his holdings by subsequent purchase until he owned 960 acres.

In addition to his agricultural pursuits, Adam Schwinn was one of the founders of the Rochdale Store, at Le Grand, and was one of the stockholders in the concern. After a full life, the death of this able man occurred September 14, 1904, at the present home of his son, George A. Schwinn, survived by his widow and two sons. Mary (Carey) Schwinn was born in Ireland, and came to New York as a girl of fifteen, in a party of five cousins. She arrived alone in Merced, September 30, 1880, having spent some ten years in the East, and on July 24, 1883, Mary Carey and Adam Schwinn were married.

George A. Schwinn received his education in the Appling school, and from a mere lad was closely associated with his father in the running of the home ranch, and took up full responsibilities twelve months before the latter's death, due to the confining illness of the father. With his brother, W. R. Schwinn, who was born on the ranch, May 13, 1888, and also reared and educated in the Appling District, he has been active in further developing the home property, and they have done very well indeed in the handling of the property, and perpetuating of their father's name for industry and strict integrity. They had added to the extent of the family property, and it now embraces 1430 acres, of which 880 acres is choice grain land, and the balance devoted to pasture. The ranch is well drained, and has four good wells, while out on reserve are three springs. Livestock and cereal grain are the chief sources of income, and both brothers are members of the California Cattlemen's Association, active in its affairs and regular attendants at meetings. They are also members of the Le Grand Farm Bureau. George A. is vice-president and director of the Le Grand Mercantile Co., successors to the Rochdale Store which their father founded and which on being reorganized took its present firm name and is owned by a group of local business men.

Fraternally, George A. Schwinn is a member of the Fraternal Aid Union; and W. R. is a charter member and Past Chief of Mariposita Lodge of Redmen, of Le Grand. Both are men of progressive ideas, with a full knowledge of the resources of Merced County, its climatic and soil conditions, and the possibilities the future holds forth for even greater development in this section of a wonderful State.



Occupying a position of prominence among the progressive and prosperous agriculturists of Merced County is Warren A. Bradley, who recalls the days of privation and hardships and the progress of the years which have led to the prosperity of the present time. He is one of California's native sons, born at Martinez, November 13, 1868, a son of John D. and Sarah A. (Harmon) Bradley, natives of Ten­nessee and Indiana, respectively. In 1850, John D. Bradley came across the plains to Oregon, then on to California where he settled at Martinez ; here he remained until 1867 when he located in Merced County, near where now stands the town of Gustine ; in 1868 his family joined him and the home was established on a half section of land. He became a prosperous farmer and continued in this oc­cupation for the balance of his active life. Five children were born in this family; 'William T. now makes his home at Riverdale; Adelia, deceased; Ada J. became Mrs. B. J. Bither, and passed away in 1920; Hattie, deceased; and Warren A., our subject. The father passed away at Gustine on August 30, 1923, lacking but a few weeks of being ninety years old; the mother passed away on December 24, 1924, aged eighty-seven.

Warren A. Bradley attended school in the Occidental district of Merced County; then attended the Chestnutwood Business College in Santa Cruz. Early in life he began his practical training in agri­culture, and when sixteen he worked in the harvest field, now the site of Gustine, and hauled grain to Hills Ferry, the nearest shipping point. In 1892 he became associated with his father in ranching and this occupied him until 1900, when he started out for himself on a ranch leased from Whitworth and Howard Company, raising grain on 1000 acres until 1906 when he established a dairy on 32 V2 acres, which he purchased and developed, and ran that for seven years, when he leased his ranch and dairy and moved to Gustine. He en­tered the employ of Miller & Lux and remained with them for one year. On March 10, 1914, he was appointed postmaster of Gustine, in which capacity he has since acted. Mr. Bradley sold his ranch of thirty-two and a half acres and with the proceeds purchased fifteen acres near the city limits of Gustine, two acres of which lie within the city limits near the high school property.

On September 20, 1893, at Chico, Cal., Mr. Bradley was married to Miss Ada E. Swearingen, born, reared and educated in the schools of Chico, completing her education at the Chico State Normal School. Mrs. Bradley is the daughter of John B. and Elizabeth (Thomalson) Swearingen. Her father came across the plains in 1850, and the mother about 1852, and they were married in Chico. John B. Swearingen was a successful farmer in Butte County and became a close associate and friend of General Bidwell. There are four child­ren in this family; Frank; Ada E., wife of Mr. Bradley; Emma J.; and Georgia B., Mrs. J. J. Rhea of Newman. Mr. and Mrs. Brad­ley have three children: Orelia W., now Mrs. William R. Woods, of Gustine, and the mother of four children, William R. Jr., Winnifred R., Warren A., and Howard Wilbur; Howard S., employed by the Standard Oil Company at Patterson; and Wilbur K., employed by Manlove & Peters in Gustine. Politically, Mr. Bradley is a Democrat. Fraternally, he belongs to the Merced Lodge of Elks.


A native son of California and a highly respected citizen of the West Side in Merced County, William Grant Gilbert was born in Sonoma County, on January 22, 1868, the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. David W. Gilbert. Mrs. Gilbert was in maidenhood Nancy Katherine Freshour and was born in Missouri; the father had come from Ohio to California and here was married. In his later years David W. Gilbert was a minister of the gospel and held charges in Fall River, Big Valley, Galt and in Sacramento. His last seven years were spent in Shasta County and he died at the age of fifty-eight.

William Grant Gilbert grew up in San Luis Obispo County and attended the public schools there and in Shasta County. In 1892 he came to the West Side in Stanislaus County and found employment on ranches for three years, then he took up a homestead in the hills west of Patterson, proved up on it and after five years sold out and bought forty acres of bare land four miles west of Ingomar in the Cottonwood district. This land he fenced, erected his home and barns suitable for his needs and follows dairying and growing alfalfa, and has met with fair success.

On December 17, 1890, Mr. Gilbert was married in Fall River Valley, Shasta County, to Miss Elvira Ray, born in Jackson County, Mo., the daughter of Isaac and Nancy (Copple) Ray, natives of Ohio and Missouri, respectively. When their daughter was a babe of four months, in 1876 the family moved to California and for two years lived in Marysville, then moved to Shasta County where the father carried on a sawmilling business until he met an accidental death when he was sixty-five years old. His widow died on September 18, 1924, at Stockton. There were six children in the Ray family : Rebecca Jane, Andrew, Elvira (Mrs. Gilbert), Edward Thomas, William and Ernest. Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert have three children : William Leslie, who married Lula Spikes of Gustine; Ella Irene, married M. J. O'Keefe of Groveland; and Vivian Ray. In politics Mr. Gilbert is a Republican; fraternally, he belongs to Acorn Camp No. 502, W. 0. W., of Newman. He has served as school trustee in the Clay district three years. In 1905 the Gilbert family located on their present home place near the Clay schoolhouse.


Owner of 1700 acres and more in Merced County, besides large property interests in adjoining counties, upon which are carried on large ranching and stock raising interests, Andres S. Raynor has fully demonstrated his ability as a manager and has won a competence through his persistent efforts. Mr. Raynor was born on Long Island, N. Y., January 14, 1865, one of three children in the family of 'Wil­liam M. and Jennie (Carmen) Raynor, the former an early pioneer of California. He was born at Hempstead, N. Y., in 1831, a son of Micajah and Ruth (Baldwin) Raynor, and he spent his youth on the farm, but when seventeen he went to Richmond County to learn the baker's trade. It was while he was learning that business that he felt the lure of California and accordingly embarked on a steamer for Panama. Reaching Aspinwall, Mr. Raynor was five days traveling up the Chagres River, after which he took the steamer McKino for San Francisco. Bad weather delayed the vessel and both the coal and provisions ran out and after waiting several months he was at last obliged to take another boat, upon which he reached his destination after a voyage of five months.

Going to Jamestown, Tuolumne County, Mr. Raynor followed mining for several years, then returned to New York, where, in 1861, he married Jennie Carmen, the only child of Joseph Carmen, who lived to reach his eighty-fifth year, dying December 26, 1904. Mrs. Jennie Raynor died in San Jose, Cal., December 21, that same year, aged fifty-nine. In 1868 William Raynor and his family made the trip to California via Panama, and in Tuolumne County he engaged in rais­ing sheep until 1871. The next year he was in the same business in Mariposa County. In 1872 he located on what came to be known as the Raynor ranch in that county, and here he was engaged in the sheep business on an extensive scale. He settled in San Jose in 1881, but died in Fresno in 1893, aged sixty-two years. His children are Mrs. Addie Daulton, Andres S., and William N.

Andres S. Raynor received a good education in the common schools which was supplemented by a course in the Garden City Business College, after which he devoted his time to ranching. He was assisted by his brother William N., who married Sadie Cleek, a native of Merced County. Our subject was married in San Jose to Miss Nellie McKee, born in San Jose, and they have three children: Howard; Ruth; and Joseph, who married Miss Anna Jones and is employed by the M. I. D. in the engineering department. Mr. Raynor is a stanch Republican and is very public spirited in all things. The family home is called "Rockhurst" and is situated nine miles east of Le Grand at the base of the foothills and is an ideal home site.

An incident worthy of mention in connection with the history of the Raynor family is here given : On April 21, 1880, on the same ranch where is now the A. Raynor home, a cloudburst occurred during sheep-shearing time. There were a number of men employed in shear­ing sheep and two were in a cabin in the path of the flood of water that came rushing down the creek bed; as it struck the cabin it col­lapsed and killed Joe Thomas, a Portuguese, and Charles J. Smith, a partner of the elder Raynor in the sheep business. When the bodies were recovered they were taken over almost impassable muddy roads to Athlone for shipment. The same cloudburst also did some damage to the old Raynor Ranch situated five miles farther up the creek.

Mr. Raynor was fond of a garden and had a nicely cultivated one at the home, with a picket fence around it to keep out the stock. There were loose weeds on the ground and when the water began coming through the fence Mr. Raynor thought to stop it and began to pile the weeds against the fence, but before he had made much headway the water was running over the top of the fence and through the house as deep as an ordinary chair bottom, carrying silt with it that made it difficult to clean up later on. Needless to say the garden was ruined. He later had a stone fence built on the creek side, part of which is still standing.


An unusually eventful life has been the portion of Francis Gil­bert, and although he has traveled to many parts of the world in making his life journey, he settled in California and made and maintained his home here, for he recognized the possibilities of the Golden State, and desired to take advantage of them. Born August 8, 1866, in Devonshire, England, he is the fifth son, and seventh of thirteen children born to his worthy parents, Jonathan G. and Jane (Patch) Gilbert. Jonathan G. Gilbert was a native of Cornwall, a direct descendant of the family from which sprang Sir Humphrey Gilbert; after his marriage to Jane Patch, who was born in Devonshire, he resided there, and there his large family was born and reared, within three miles of the birthplace of Sir Francis Drake. He was a tin miner by trade, but enlisted and served in the National Guards, being one of the survivors of the 600 Battalion of Death, immortalized by Tennyson in his poem, "The Charge of the Light Brigade." He received wounds in battle, scars of which he carried to the grave, his death occurring at the good age of seventy-seven years. His seven sons all distinguished themselves in service under the Union Jack, and all of them became well-known mine managers in South Africa, with the exception of Francis, who followed the sea.

But little opportunity for education was given Francis Gilbert, for he had to go to work to help support the growing family. He worked in the tin mines as tool carrier, for which work he received nine pence a day; later he became a miner, but, in 1880, he enlisted in the British Navy, on board the training ship H. M. S. Lyon; he made one trip around the world and was a seaman on H. M. S. Implacable at the bombardment of Alexandria in 1882, and became second C. P. 0. on Old Triumph. Coming to the conclusion that follow­ing the sea would never get him anywhere, with three comrades he deserted ship at San Diego, August 10, 1885, and with five cents in his pocket, struck out to face the world. Four days and nights were spent on Coronado Peninsula, then only a patch of sagebrush, without a mouthful of food or water, except salt, to eat or drink. He swam the bay to San Diego, under cover of night, rigged up a raft and rescued his three companions by, rowing them to the main land, when they struck out to find food and a job, willing to take anything that was offered them.

Young Gilbert entered the employ of Rancher Tibbetts, at Tia­Juana, at ten dollars per month "and found." In the seasons of 1886­1887, the valley was flooded, prices went high, and hay sold up to sixty dollars per ton, other produce being in proportion. For the next two seasons, Mr. Gilbert conducted a retail fruit and vegetable route on half shares with Mr. Tibbetts, becoming fairly well acquainted with the southern country. He also worked as longshoreman for a period of eight months. In 1887, on July 4, he won the gold medal and twenty-five dollars and the Pacific Coast long distance swimming championship.

In 1889, Mr. Gilbert came to Merced County to farm the Col­lins-Twitchell tract, and this work he followed successfully for seven years, also engaged in working on contract harvesting machines. In 1902, he made a return journey to England, accompanied by his family, and was absent for fourteen months, after which his wife and three children returned to California and he went to the mines of South Africa. Three years later, he reached California with a "stake" of $5000, rerhaining in Santa Cruz during 1906, where he was swimming instructor at the Casino; during 1906 and 1907 he was a member of the life-saving crew as well, rescuing many from drowning—three on one certain Sunday afternoon. On September 6, 1908, at Santa Cruz, he won the "Undaunted" gold medal, being the fire and water prize, for swimming across the plunge carrying a four-inch hose and putting out a fire before the arrival of the contesting fire brigade. Mr. Gilbert came back to Merced County and invested in land and now owns 257 acres of choice farm lands, specializing in livestock and grain raising, and is a breeder of Duroc Jersey hogs. He attributes his success to a strict policy of economy and the help of his devoted wife, who reared a family and had the hardest part of the work, but always helped in the management of business.

The marriage of Mr. Gilbert, occurring August 26, 1888, in St. Joseph Church, San Diego, united him with Miss Kathryn Col­lins, a native of Sandy Mush, Merced County, and daughter of the late William Collins, pioneer rancher; her death occurred January 16, 1915, survived by three children: Frances, now Mrs. Harden, of Merced (her twin, Charles F., died in infancy) ; William Arthur, who served on the Mexican border for two years; and John Francis, a Merced rancher, who served as corporal in the 12th United States Infantry during the World War, accompanying a physical trainer in teaching boxing. Seven grandchildren are in the family: Kathryn F., Gertrude, Gilbert, and Louise Harden; and Albert E., Dorothy M., and Marion E. Gilbert.

The second marriage of Mr. Gilbert, July 4, 1916, at St. Francis Church, San Francisco, united him with Miss Anna F. Farrell, who was born in Boston, Mass., the fourth of six children born to her parents; her brother, George, is a captain of police in Boston, and she has a sister in California, Mrs. Jane Shade of San Francisco, wife of Lieutenant Shade of the San Francisco fire department. Before her marriage she was employed at the San Francisco Exposition as inspector of women's dressing rooms. Mr. Gilbert received his citizenship papers in Merced, and has always endeavored to aid in the welfare of his adopted country, for he realizes that his success in life was made possible by his decision to locate in the newer land, and this decision he has never had occasion to regret. Fraternally, he belongs to the local lodge of Foresters, of which organization he holds the office of Sub-chief Ranger, and- he is a Knight of Columbus. A born optimist, he has reached his present firm position through hard work and good management, and his favorite verse, a memory of his brave mother, follows:

"Whene'er a task is set to you, Don't idly sit and view it, Nor be content to wish it done; Begin at once and do it."


One of the first settlers in Atwater, Merced County, who is still living to recount the events of earlier days of the struggle of the little city to attain to its present prominence in the county, is George S. Bloss, Sr., pioneer banker and well-known financier of the San Joaquin Valley. He was born in Bethlehem, Ct., November 26, 1847, and is the only survivor of the immediate family of George T. and Emily (Brown) Bloss, both born in Bethlehem, the former of French and the latter of Scotch parentage. The paternal ancestors settled in Killingly, Ct., when they arrived from France, and it was in that state George T. Bloss followed farming until he died at the age of forty-one, in 1848; the good wife lived to enjoy life until 1866.

George S. Bloss, Sr., spent his boyhood on the home farm and attended the local schools. In manhood he engaged in farming and lived in his native state until 1884, when he decided he would come West. He brought his family with him and upon arrival he bought some land near Atwater and at once embarked in raising grain and stock. In time he became so successful that he kept adding to his hold­ings until he owned two sections of land. He made his home in a house that stood on the corner where now is located the Bloss Block in Atwater. He has continually kept up with the advancement of this district and has erected several residences and business blocks, among which is the Atwater Hotel building; and with his son, he is interested in other properties. In 1897 Mr. Bloss and H. F. Geer as executors of the Mitchell estate subdivided 480 acres into twenty-acre tracts, giving the name of the Atwater Colony to the location. This was sold at $40.00 per acre to settlers, and although times were hard and the promoters had a difficult task before them, they put the place on the map and today those settlers who were carried by the promoters of the project have repaid their indebtedness and have become well-to-do and many are now independent landowners. The first subdivi­sion was followed later by others, all of them successful and satisfactory to all parties concerned, due largely to the careful supervision of every detail looking for the comfort and interests of the purchasers by Mr. Bloss and his associates. The company was known as the Fin­de-Siecle Investment Company, of which Mr. Bloss was president, and it remained intact until 1904, when it was divided into thirds and sold ; one portion to the Bloss Land and Cattle Company; one to Crane Brothers Company ; and the other to the Geer-Dallas Investment Company.

In 1898 Mr. Bloss leveled a small tract of land south of his home and put in alfalfa, the tract bordering on the railroad. This spot of greenery was a great attraction in the vast stretch of sandy, desert-looking land through which the railroad ran, being about the only green spot from Tracy to Fresno. This attempt in a small way showed what the future of this section might attain to, and well has the judgment of Mr. Bloss been justified, for today this is one of the richest sections in the whole of the San Joaquin Valley. As early as 1892 Mr. Bloss became a director in the Merced Security Savings Bank, serving as its. president for nine consecutive years; much of the success of this institution is due to the cooperative efforts of Mr. Bloss and Mr. Carlson, the cashier, who was formerly an employe of the Southern Pacific and was well-known in Merced. In 1911 Mr. Bloss was instrumental in having a branch of the Merced Security Savings Bank established at Atwater, and with the growth of the community the bank has also prospered. Mr. Bloss is a fine judge of land values and this has stood the bank in good stead when it has made loans, as well as those making investments outside of the banks. One of the first official duties taken on by Mr. Moss was as administrator of the Mitchell Estate, which he served for eleven years.

Mr. Bloss has been twice married, his first union having taken place in 1873, when he was united with Ella Stone, formerly of Wood­bury, Ct., and niece of the late John W. Mitchell. She died in 1893, leaving two children, Edna, who became the wife of Julian Thorne and lives in San Francisco; and George Stone Bloss, Jr., prominent stockman of Atwater, also having served as a director of the Merced Security Savings Bank and one of the leading men of the younger generation in the county. On February 2, 1904, Mr. Bloss was again married, this time being united with Mrs. Edna (Thompson) Hull, whom he had known in boyhood, she being born in Bethlehem, Ct. A Californian hospitality is dispensed from the Bloss home, which is the center of social happenings in Atwater. Mr. Bloss has never let his interest in the upbuilding of Merced County diminish, but is al­ways found in the van helping all meritorious enterprises.


A descendant of an ancient and honored Irish family, and a pioneer grain rancher of Merced County, William J. McCorry is the owner of a ranch comprising 1,258 acres, five miles northeast of Planada. which represents a lifetime of honest and hard work; for he came to this country a poor boy, and with his own way to make in the world. Born in County Antrim, Ireland, on March 17, 1853, he is the only surviving member of the family born to his parents, Patrick and Marie (Crossey) McCorry. The McCorry family have records showing their occupancy of the same home in Ireland for 420 years, up to the time William J. left home, in 1872.

Reared and educated in his native land, at the age of eighteen his youthful ambition led him to seek to better his condition by coming to the new world. He was nine days en route to New York on the S. S. City of Paris; and from there he made his way to Buffalo, and then on up the lakes to Marquette, Mich., where he worked two and one-half years in the iron foundries, at $2.25 a day for ten hours' work. In 1875 he came west to California, first locating in Knoxville, Napa County, working as a wage-earner in the quicksilver mines.

Twelve months later, in 1876, Mr. McCorry arrived at the Huffman ranch, in Merced County, and worked the first season in haying and harvesting. He preferred the rural life, and put in the dry seasons of 1877-1879 at Stony Creek, Colusa County, in the Sacramento Valley, and also spent a short time in Butte County. As an example of the obstacles to be overcome in those days, Mr. McCorry planted grain in 1877, but the weather continued so dry that the grain did not come up until the winter of 1878-1879. With the exception of these seasons, he has resided in Merced County ever since his first arrival here. From 1876 until 1881, he continued to work out on the farms southeast of Merced. The following year, in company with Dan Reilly, he started grain-farming, and for four seasons had splendid success. In 1885 he bought 200 acres of the Reilly lands, and by a number of subsequent purchases increased his acreage up to 1,280 acres. In 1919 he donated to the county a portion of the north edge of his ranch, for the Yosemite Boulevard, but retains 1,258 acres of it still.

As a pioneer Mr. McCorry introduced modern ways and methods of ranching and thus set an example which has been followed by others ; and as a man, he set an example for honesty and integrity which has been a strong factor for good in his community. By all who know him he is called one of the finest and squarest of men. His reminiscences of early days are most interesting and show the sturdy character of the man. He says, "I sold barley for four bits a hundred, and wheat at seventy-nine cents, but in some way managed to pay my debts at those prices, though it took some figuring". He states that "usually the ranchers lived well, having plenty on the table, and as a general thing enjoyed life." This is particularly true of Mr. McCorry, for his family have staid on the home place to a large extent, carrying on the work so well started by their sire. His sons are enterprising men and have loyally taken up the operation of the ranch, cultivating 2,000 acres to grain.

The marriage of Mr. McCorry, which occurred on February 5, 1884, united him with Mary O'Dea, a native of County Claire, Ireland, who came to California about 1881. They were blessed with eleven children, nine of whom have grown to maturity : John J., of Planada ; Marie, at home ; Hugh; William F.; Margaret, of San Francisco ; Elizabeth, now Mrs. W. J. Angelich of Fresno; James, of Planada; Anne, of Fresno ; and Daniel, with the Central National Bank of Oakland; and a son of Mrs. McCorry's twin sister, Frank, has been reared from babyhood at their own son.

Mr. McCorry is a stockholder in the Merced Security Savings Bank. For twenty years he has served as a trustee for the Cunning­ham school district; and he has also served many times on election boards. He has always taken an active interest in furthering the best interests of the county, and in all his development work has had that end in view. Fraternally, he is a member of Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. 0. E., as are also his sons John J. and William F.


Among the successful and energetic business men of Livingston is William Willis Abbott, senior member of the firm of Abbott & Sons Garage; he has spent the greater part of his life in Merced County, for he was only ten years old when his parents located in the county. His birth occurred near Knights Ferry, on December 2, 1872, a son of George W. and Mary (Smith) Abbott, the former born in Belfast, Maine, and the latter born in Trinity County, Cal. The maternal grandfather drove an ox-team across the plains to California in 1852 from St. Louis, Mo. Settling at Placerville in the spring of that year, he went into the cattle and sheep business, but later. engaged in teaming and freighting in Tuolumne County. The father, George W. Abbott, came to California via the Isthmus of Panama in 1861 and engaged in farming and stock-raising in Stanislaus County, near Knights Ferry. The paternal grandfather was a stone mason and built the first piers for the first permanent bridge across the Stanislaus River, at Burns Ferry; he also built the stone wall on the hill at Knights Ferry. When William Abbott was four years old his parents moved to Stockton, where the father found employment in the lumber yard now known as the Stockton Lumber Company. There were two children in the family: Dora is now the wife of W. P. McConnell, a farmer at Livingston; and William Willis, our subject.

William Willis Abbott received his first schooling at the old Jefferson School at Stockton; when he was ten years old the family removed to Merced County and settled on Merced River bottom land, where the father farmed about 2000 acres of what is now known as the Collier ranch. Not being particularly drawn to agricultural pursuits, Mr. Abbott left his father's ranch in 1885 and went to Oak­land where he began firing for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company; he remained with this company for five years when he went to San Francisco and found employment in the boiler-making department of the Union Iron Works. This was during the Spanish-American War. He then went to work for the San Joaquin Valley Railroad as a machinist. When this road was absorbed by the Santa Fe Railroad Company, the machine shops were removed to Point Richmond and Mr. Abbott continued in the capacity of machinist until 1909. He then returned to Merced County and farmed in partnership with his father.

In 1896, at Atwater, Mr. Abbott was married to Miss Elizabeth Ritchie, a daughter of the late pioneer, William Calhoun Ritchie, who came across the plains from Missouri in 1852, first settling in Sutter County, later removing to Amador County and in 1883 locating in Merced County where he became an extensive grain farmer. He retired in 1908 and passed away at the age of eighty-three years. Mr. Abbott sold the Merced River ranch and removed to western Yolo County, where he farmed for five years on a half section of land; when this was sold he returned to Merced County and followed contracting and building at Turlock until 1914. In 1915 he bought out the Pioneer Garage at Livingston; and when his lease expired in 1918 he established the Abbott Garage on First Street. Mr. and Mrs. Abbott are the parents of two children: Mildred is the wife of Edward Schultz, a member of the firm of Abbott & Sons Garage; and George W. married Miss Pearl Leitzky, of Turlock, and he is also a member of the firm of Abbott & Sons Garage. The Abbott & Sons Garage is a first-class machine shop, modernly equipped to do all kinds of repair work on automobiles and farm tractors. Mr. Abbott served as constable for four years, and also was a deputy sheriff under Mr. Warfield. He helped to organize the Boosters' Club at Livingston and is now serving as the chairman of the Merchants Association, which was organized in 1921. It was largely through the efforts of Mr. Abbott that a tract of six acres was acquired for a park, now known as Hammatt Park. Mr. Abbott is a progressive Republican in politics. Fraternally, he is a Past Master of Turlock Lodge No. 395, F. & A. M., and is district inspector, having supervision over all the lodges in the 55th district; he also belongs to the Merced Chapter No. 12, R. A. M. In 1919 Mr. Abbott bought a two-acre tract of land in the southern part of Livingston where he and his family reside.



A successful merchant, John V. Azevedo commands the respect and esteem of all who have witnessed his steady progress up the ladder of success since he located in Gustine in 1907. He had located in the State twenty years earlier, having emigrated from St. George, in the Azores Islands, where he was born on March 14, 1868, settling first in Monterey. He is the son of Viresimo Jose and Anna (Candada) Azevedo, both natives of St. George, where the father spent his entire life as a farm laborer. There were eight children in this family, namely: Manuel; a second child, died in infancy ; John V., our subject; Mary, deceased; Jose V., deceased; Jose V., resides in Patterson, Cal.; Rose, deceased; and Antone. The father passed away at St. George at the age of seventy years, the mother now makes her home with John V. at Gustine, aged eighty-three years.

John V. Azevedo had little chance of obtaining an education. He left home at the age of nineteen and came to the United States, landing in Boston, Mass., and came direct to California and stopped at Monterey, where he soon found work on a dairy ranch in that vicinity and continued for four years ; then he rented a farm of 400 acres and, with his brother Manuel, conducted a dairy of fifty cows for the next five years at San Juan. When the brothers divided the herd our subject came to Crow's Landing in the San Joaquin Valley, and with his brother Joseph and a cousin, John Borba, conducted a dairy for two years. He came to Merced County in 1901 and bought a farm of 155 acres where he ran a dairy six years, being one of the pioneer Portuguese settlers in this section. When Gustine was laid out as a town he purchased two lots on which he erected the West Side Store and he carries a full line of groceries, dry goods, shoes, hardware, grain and mill feed, some farm machinery and household furniture. Since then he has bought considerable real estate in Gustine.

At Salinas, on February 11, 1898, Mr. Azevedo was married to Miss Ida Victorina Azevedo, born at Sausalito, daughter of Manuel V. and Mary (Cunha) Azevedo, both natives of St. George, Azores Islands. Her father, Manuel V. Azevedo, came to California at the age of fourteen years on a whaling vessel. He was married in Sausalito, where he engaged in the dairy business and also followed the carpenter's trade; both parents are now living in Newman. There were nine children in this family ; Angeline, Manuel, Mary, Ida (the wife of our subject), Ellen, Anna and Marianna (twins), Rosa, and the ninth child (died in infancy). Mr. and Mrs. Azevedo have had four children : Manuel; Mamie, now Mrs. Antone S. Balthazer; Anna, deceased; and John. The son Manuel married Miss Leonora Cardoza and they had one son, Adolph, who died; the daughter, Mamie, Mrs. Balthazer, has one daughter, Geraldine. Mr. Azevedo votes the Republican ticket. Fraternally, he is a member of the U. P. E. C., of Gustine, and Past President of the I. D. E. S. Lodge of Gustine, having been elected president when the lodge was organized.


Among the substantial and respected residents of Merced County is Dan McCoy, a successful rancher residing on his twenty-acre farm one mile west and three-quarters of a mile south of Livingston. He was born at Bloomfield, Iowa, on April 13, 1843, a son of Joseph and Nancy (Pelly) McCoy, both natives of Virginia. Joseph McCoy went to Iowa in the early days and became the owner of 1000 acres of land in Davis County, which he farmed successfully. In 1858, with his family, he joined a train of emigrants and started across the plains to California. There were sixty persons in the company, bringing 2000 head of loose stock. They lost 1000 head in the first Indian encounter. Eight persons were killed by the Indians during six hard fights; one woman and three little girls were taken prisoners and were never heard of again. The last fight occurred on the Colorado River at the California-Arizona line. The company was forced to return to Santa Fe, N. M., where they remained until the following year when they came through to California, but not without suffering indescribable hardships, many of the company dying of starvation. Of the remaining 1000 head of stock, very few got through to Cali­fornia. Joseph McCoy settled near Visalia and became a rancher and teamster.

Dan McCoy was a young lad when he went to work earning his own living; he first herded sheep for a year and a half; then began driving a ten-horse team for his father from Visalia to the mines in the mountains east of this place. In 1862 he removed to Santa Clara County and settled at Los Gatos, where he engaged in hauling lumber from the Santa Cruz mountains until 1913, when he came to Merced County and settled on his present ranch home.

On November 12, 1871, Mr. McCoy was married to Miss Sarah Crews, who was born in Harrison County, Mo., on March 31, 1853. To them have been born ten children, viz.: Burton, of San Jose; George, deceased; Oscar, at Cressey; Mrs. Adah Grove, in San Francisco; Mrs. May Love, of Livingston; Perley, deceased; Stella, Mrs. Watson, of Santa Barbara; Elsie, deceased; Mattie, married Alfred Baker and lives in Altadena; and Philip L.., who is at home and assists his father with the ranch work. Mr. McCoy has now reached the age of eighty-two years and still takes a great pride in raising fine horses, which he learned to love when a young man and which he still drives with the greatest ease and pleasure.


One of the earliest settlers in the Atwater District, Mr. Willett is one of the few who went through every vicissitude of this pioneer region, and has made good in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. And in this work he has helped greatly in the development of the country surrounding, showing by concrete example what can be done, if the doer brings to the task the right spirit of industry and integrity of purpose. A native of Manchester, Ohio, Mr. Willett was born September 14, 1866, the second of four sons born to W. M. and Mary Malisse (Brownfield) Willett, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Ohio. In 1870 the family moved out to Kansas, settling near Elmdale, Chase County, and crossing the Santa Fe trail ahead of the track-layer crew on the construction of the A. T. & S. F. Railway. They went through the grasshopper raids and all the hardships incident to the early settling of Kansas during the early seventies. In 1876 they went back to Ohio, where the wife and mother died in 1877, aged thirty-three years. The father married again, in Ohio. Thus it will be seen that the family experienced life on the frontier and this fact has been indelibly stamped on the mind of our subject.

Educated in the public schools of Ohio and Kansas, E. S. Willett supplemented his early schooling by attending Hazeldell Academy at Newton, Iowa, but due to eye trouble he had to leave the academy and go into the country and he grew up on the farm in the intervals. He left home at the age of nineteen and worked for wages, receiving eighteen dollars a month driving a creamery wagon. He later moved to Lake Charles, La., where he homesteaded 160 acres in 1890, and this property he owns today, situated in the heart of the rice-growing region; recent developments indicate that it may become an oil field.

For seven years Mr. Willett taught school in Louisiana, receiving forty dollars per month, the greater portion of the population of the region being descendants of the exiles of Arcadia, immortalized by Longfellow in his poem, "Evangeline." His next move was to Mena, Ark., where he became agent for the Walter Pearce Oil Company, and from there he moved to Fresno, Cal., and May 4, 1909, came with his family to Atwater, in July of that year purchasing twenty-four acres at Yam Station on the Santa Fe Railway. At the time of his arrival this region was sparsely settled, used mostly by holding companies as grain fields and stock pasture, there being less than a half dozen settlers at that time, where now reside in the same section some forty families; and it may be even now said to be just begin­ning to grow, for the tide has turned toward the rapid settling up of all California lands which can show the soil and water conditions of Atwater and surrounding country. But fifteen or more years ago things were not so easy, and the settler then had to be both a hustler and a rustler to make good. Mr. Willett's first efforts in planting and caring for such fruits as peaches and grapes were put to the test. but he "stuck," and has proven both the fertility of the district and his own indomitable spirit, for which much credit is due him. He is one of the charter members of the Atwater Fruit Exchange, and his early efforts included the selling of fruits from Merced Falls to Los Banos. He now is the owner of a twenty-four-acre ranch, devoted to a highly developed orchard and vineyard, this constituting his home place; and he also owns eleven acres of open land two and one-half miles north of there. Mr. Willett established the R. F. D. route out of Winton in the earlier days of the district's development, conducting it himself for two months during the earlier part of the year 1913.

The marriage of Mr. Willett united him with Miss Anna R. Wright, born in Texas, a daughter of the late Dr. Wright and his wife, who has since become Mrs. W. R. Davis. Four children have come to Mr. and Mrs. Willett : Ezra J., a student in the Armstrong School of Foreign Trade; Maudine, a student at the University of California, Class of 1927; Cleone Monett, attending Merced Union High School, Class 1925; and Nona M., attending Arundel School. The family attend the Winton Presbyterian Church. Mr. Willett was formerly active in the .Methodist Episcopal Church in Mena, Ark. Active fraternally, he joined Anchor Lodge, I. 0. 0. F., in Lake Charles, and the Rebekah Lodge at Mena, Ark., being a Past Grand of the Lake Charles Lodge, and Past District Deputy. He is a Republican in politics, and a worker for all civic betterment. He is a member of the Winton Farm Bureau and was secretary for the organization for two years. He is now a director of the Merced County Farm Bureau and is a member of the California Peach & Fig Growers Association.


Prominent among the early settlers of Gustine, Merced County is Elisha Hales, one of its most respected and valued citizens. Coming to Gustine many years ago he bought forty acres of land just outside the town limits, where he established a dairy and in connection raised alfalfa. When the town of Gustine was laid out he was one of the first to build a residence and he has been an active and influential force in the advancement of this section ever since. He was born April 12, 1867, at Soulsbyville, Tuolumne County, a son of Jack and May (Trengrove) Hales, both natives of Cornwall, England. His gather came to California during the gold excitement of 1849 and engaged in mining in Tuolumne County. There were eight children in the family : Mary Jane, wife of Alex Davis of Soulsbyville ; William John, deceased; Richard; Bessie, deceased; Thomas; Elisha, our subject; Emily and Jose, both deceased. Both parents passed away at the age of fifty years in Tuolumne County.

Elisha Hales was educated in the Tuolumne County schools and in young manhood tried mining: later he teamed between Sonora and Oakdale for about six years ; then for a number of years he worked in quartz mines. He removed to Boulder Creek and engaged in teaming in the Santa Cruz mountains for eight years, when he located in Merced County in 1907, bought lots in the Townsite of Gustine and ran the first grocery store. Selling out in 1909, he then bought the ranch where he now lives.

At Santa Cruz, November 26, 1892, Mr. Hales was married to Miss Edith Maddocks, native of San Mateo County, daughter of the pioneers Frank and Sarah (Rodgers) Maddocks; her father was a timberman. There were five children in this family: Roy; Edith, wife of our subject; Austin, deceased; Worth; and Ethel. Mr. and Mrs. Hales are the parents of two children: Dalton E. and Irma. Mr. Hales still owns ten acres of the original forty acres which lies on the west of the city of Gustine. Since 1919 he has served as deputy assessor of Merced County of the 4th Supervisoral district. He is a Republican in politics and is a member of Romero Lodge No. 413 I. 0. 0. F. of Gustine. Mrs. Hales belongs to the Pride of Romero Rebekahs of Gustine.


An enterprising dairy farmer of Merced County and a director of the Bank of Gustine, Richard F. Kerr has the distinction of being a native son of the Golden State, born near Danville, Contra Costa County, on Februray 170 1872, the son of Thomas F. and Miss Susan C. (Chrisman) Kerr, natives of Missouri and California, respectively. Thomas F. Kerr was born on March 27, 1849, in Jasper County, attended the public schools there and in 1864 came to California and settled in Contra Costa County and engaged in farming. Soon after he went to Kern County and was engaged in raising sheep, and in 1877 came to Merced County, remaining until 1890, when he removed to Santa Clara County. Mrs. Kerr was born in Contra Costa County, daughter of J. P. Chrisman, a California pioneer of Forty-nine, who came from Missouri and settled at Danville, Cal. Into the home of Thomas F. and Susan Kerr seven children have been born, four living, viz : Stuart; Mrs. Susie B. Fancher, of Pacific Grove ; G. L. of Gustine;.and Richard F., of this review. Those who have passed away are John M., May C., and Jessie I. Mr. and Mrs. Kerr are residing in Pacific Grove, aged seventy-six and seventy-two respectively.

Richard F. Kerr attended the grammar school in Merced Coun­ty and the high school and business college in San Jose. After leaving school he conducted a resort at Highland Springs, Lake County, for twelve years. In 1906 he settled at Gustine, where he purchased a farm of 300 acres two miles from town on which he has since engaged in the dairy business with increasing success; he now has a herd of about 225 head of dairy stock, milking on an average of 120 head. He disposes of his products through the creameries.

On Christmas Eve, 1895 at Lakeport, Cal., Mr. Kerr was united in marriage with Miss Harriet L. Manlove, a native of Lake County, daughter of W. H. and Sarah (Thompson) Manlove. Her father came around the Horn in 1849 from Virginia and located in Lake County, where he became a very prominent citizen; he was the first sheriff of Lake County and helped to organize that county, in which he was a farmer all his active career. He passed away at the age of eighty-three years; his wife died in 1922. Mr. Kerr is one of the directors in the Bank of Gustine. He is treasurer of the San Joaquin River 'Water Storage District, which takes in parts of Stanislaus, Merced, Madera and Fresno Counties, one of the most important projects in this part of the State. He is Democratic in politics, and fraternally, belongs to Romero Lodge No. 413 I.O.O.F., in Gustine.


The Province of Basque, in the south of France, has given us a number of our most substantial citizens. One of the most prominent in wealth and influence at Los Banos is Martin Erreca, farmer and banker. Born May 31, 1880, he was eighteen years old when he left for the United States in 1898. In his native land he had been by occupation a sheep-herder, and he naturally followed the same business in this country, beginning in Arizona, at thirty dollars per month. But it was hard and trying times which he had in the Williams and Ashfork districts; at one time in the mountains, he was obliged to cut boughs and vines from the trees for eight days and nights to keep the sheep from starving.

In 1902 Mr. Erreca came to Los Banos and with his two brothers herded sheep on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Later he went into partnership with his brother, J. B. Erreca, and engaged in the sheep business on a large scale. At one time they had 6000 head. Later he went into sheep-raising on his own account. Then he sold out and turned his attention to grain farming, being one of the largest grain farmers on the West Side. He had from 2700 to 3000 acres in wheat and barley south of Dos Palos on Panoche Creek, and was quite successful.

Mr. Erreca married Miss Marie Louise Laxague, a native of France, and they have three children, John, Peter and Norine. Mr. Erreca became a citizen of the United States in Merced in 1923. He is a director in the Bank of Los Banos, and formerly was a director in the Portuguese-American Bank. He bought his first automobile in 1917 and now is the owner of a Cadillac, his second car. Mr. Erreca is a loyal and enterprising citizen and believes in progress along all lines.


The development of the Great Golden State is due to the energy and patience of the pioneers who left their comfortable homes in the East and came to the West and helped in the task to establish a State. One of these families was the Calkins', who trace their ancestry, by well preserved records, !lot only back to the Eastern States, but to the nobility in England. M. D. Calkins, father of our subject, was a native of Ohio and in 1852 came to Nevada City, Cal. He had married in the East, Elizabeth A. Sayles, also born in Ohio, who joined him in California in 1853, and their first child born here. Later the family returned east and established the family home in Chicago, where Mr. Calkins became established as a journalist. He made numerous trips to California to look after his mining interests here, until in 1878, when he returned with his family. Both he and his wife died in San Francisco.

Thomas D. Calkins was born in Elyria, Ohio, on April 13, 1858, the second of seven sons, of whom three are still living. He attended the public schools in Illinois, also an academy in Chicago. In 1879 he came to California and established a newspaper in Forest City, called the Sierra County Tribune, which he moved to Downieville two years later, and conducted it for ten years. He then sold out and moved to Sutter Creek and was proprietor of the Amador County Record for another ten years. We next find him in San Francisco, where, with his two brothers, he established the Pacific Coast Miner, a mining and engineering journal, which was sold three years later to the Mining and Engineering Journal of New York. T. D. Calkins was one of the organizers of the Calkins Syndicate and in San Fran­cisco he established the Orchard and Farm publication. After the fire and earthquake of 1906, when his material fortune was swept away, he sold his interest in the syndicate and spent four years as editor and owner of the Haywards Review, at Haywards; then he was four years in Monterey as owner of the Daily Cypress. In 1917 he came to Atwater and purchased the Atwater Signal, established in that town in 1911 by L. F. Atwater, since which time he has built up a good circulation and also does a good job printing business.

Thomas D. Calkins was united in marriage on October 1, 1884, with Mary M. Farley, daughter of Judge M. Farley of Alabama, who brought his family to California in 1869. He served in the State legislature from Monterey County in the sessions of 1882-1883. Mary Farley was born in Fairfield, Texas, and was a sister of Henry Farley, at one time sheriff of Monterey County and who was killed in 1899 by the bullet of a bandit. He was once postmaster at Gon­zales and prominent in the Native Sons of the Golden West. Three children have blessed the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Calkins, viz.:Malcolm, connected with the Merced Sun; Donald Reid, proprietor and editor of the Ceres Courier ; and Lucile, wife of R. T. Hughes, of Napa. Mr. Calkins has a record for having put in nearly forty-five years active work in the newspaper business. He has always been closely identified with the life of the State and has helped make its history.


A prosperous rancher of Merced County, who has become inde­pendent, through his own unaided effort, Jose F. Freitas is now an influential part of community life in his district of the county. Born April 11, 1862, at Faja Grande, Flores, the Azores, he is the son of Francisco J. and Violante (Freitas) Freitas, both of the Azores Islands. His father was a veterinary surgeon in Don Pedro's army from 1832 to 1833, and received three major wounds in campaigns in Spain and Portugal. He died a farmer, which occupation he took up in later life, in Flores, and there his wife died, also, after reaching the venerable age of seventy-seven years; she was a remarkable woman in many ways, and passed on these characteristics to her descendants.

Jose F. received his schooling in the public schools of his native land. He was reared on a farm, but was never satisfied with the out­look for advancement, at home, and his correspondence carried on with two older brothers, A. J. and John, who had preceded him to California, in 1864 and in 1867, respectively, and had done well in the mines near Folsom, decided Jose F. to come to the new country himself and there find the opportunities lacking in the home land. At the age of nineteen he boarded the barque Sarah, crossed the Atlan­tic to Boston, taking twenty-eight days for the voyage and arriving June 17, 1882. He concluded his long journey by settling in Mariposa County, Cal., meeting his brothers there, and he immediately started to work as sheep herder in the mountains. In the following years he bought an interest in the business, in 1886, and followed sheep and wool growing until 1893, living at Indian Gulch and making his summer camp at Tuolumne. That year he sold out his interest, and reinvested in land in Merced County, moving to Buhach Colony in 1898, and there he engaged in sweet potato growing. He sold his ranch in 1915, having in the meantime, in 1913, invested in Ash Tract, where he now owns forty acres, a well developed ranch devoted to general farming.

The marriage of Mr. Freitas, which occurred in May, 1901, at Merced, united him with Mrs. Lucinda Z. (Souza) Bispo, then a widow with two sons. Four children have been born to them : Violet, Joseph, Mary, and Frank. Mr. Freitas. is prominent among his countrymen as Past President of the U. P. E. C.; and he has for the past twenty-two years belonged to the Woodmen of the World of Merced. December 28, 1888, he received his U. S. citizenship papers, from Judge Corcoran, at Mariposa, and he is a Republican in politics, with a real interest in all civic and national affairs. A progressive minded man, he is a great reader and takes more than a passing interest in world events. His interest in local matters is shown by the fact that he was instrumental in organizing the Buhach District school, and served as school trustee for eight years. Mrs. Freitas is a member of the S. P. R. I. S. I., and both give liberally to charities and all good causes. In 1910 Mr. Freitas donated an acre of land to the Buhach Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Asso­ciation. His success has come to him through years not unmixed with adversity, and he is ready and willing to help others in their struggle for a place in life.


Whoever labors to secure the development of his country, striv­ing to bring out its latent resources and devoted to the general welfare of the people, he it is that earns a place as a public benefactor and is entitled to mention in the pages of history. Of such may be chronicled the name of L. F. Arnold, who owns, cultivates and lives on his fruit ranch of thirty acres two and three-quarters miles south­west of Winton. He was born at Pittsburgh, Pa., on September 12, 1877, a son of Laurence A. and Margaret (Mertz) Arnold. His father was born in Germany and came to Pennsylvania, where he married Margaret Mertz and became a truck farmer. They reared a family of ten children, and both died aged seventy-two years.

L. F. Arnold was the third of his father's family of ten children. He grew up and attended the public schools and worked on his father's farm at Beaver Falls, Pa. He took a commercial course in a business college and was bookkeeper in a Pittsburgh grocery house. Mr. Arnold came to California in 1903, and to Fruitland precinct in 1909, after six years spent in San Francisco. He moved out to his present ranch in 1910. It is an excellent fruit ranch with a comfortable country house and was once a portion of the Crocker-Huffman holdings.

In 1907 L. F. Arnold was married to Miss Clara Steiner, one of the three daughters of John and Phoebe (Grismore) Steiner. She was born and grew up at Bluffton, Ohio, where her father was a carpenter and builder. He died eighteen years ago. Her mother is still living at Merced. Mr. and Mrs. Arnold have five children, as follows: Paul I., in the high school; May P., in the grammar school; and Frank S., Howard C., and Ruth E. Mr. Arnold and his good wife take an active interest in public affairs. He has served as election judge, on the school board and on the Fruitland Center of the Merced County Farm Bureau and is now president of the latter bureau. For many years he served as president of the Arena branch of the National Farm Loan Association. He is a director of the Atwater Fruit Exchange.


Among the foremost citizens of Winton, Merced County, Cal., is Harry A. Logue, the resident agent for the Cooperative Land & Trust Company. A man of energy, resolution and persistency he is justly recognized as one of the most progressive citizens of the Winton section. Mr. Logue helped to lay out, sell and settle up the Parr Colony in the Fruitland section of Merced County; he also helped to lay out the town of Yam, and through his efforts a postoffice was established and he became the first postmaster. Recognizing the advantages of the Winton section he turned his attention to this part of the county and has been the most active spirit in the advancement of this locality ever since.

The birth of Harry A. Logue occurred at St. Louis, Mo., on October 2, 1856, and, he is a son of William 0. and Martha Ann (Beadle) Logue, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively. William 0. Logue started across the plains in 1860, his destination being Colorado. At the outbreak of the Civil War he entered the Navy and rose to chief engineer and served throughout the war in this capacity; after the close of the war he located at Trenton, Ill., but the West called too strongly and with a company of friends he started again across the plains for the gold fields of Colorado. The company encountered hostile Indians and for several days they had a running fight with them and a number of their company were killed. The father located at Black Hawk, Colo., where he engaged in mining.

Harry A. Logue attended public school in Colorado and as he grew to young manhood he became interested in mining pursuits and was interested in this line of work in a number of states and territories. When he located in Merced County in 1906, his development instinct took the form of establishing town sites and this kind of work has proven most interesting and lucrative.

At Tombstone, Ariz., on June 16, 1889, Mr. Logue was married to Mrs. Jennie Clark, widow of Robert E. Clark, and a daughter of George and Sophia Burns. Mrs. Logue was born in Pennsylvania, of Scotch and English ancestors; by her first husband she has one son, Robert E. Clark, now known as Robert E. Logue, a traveling sales‑man for the Holt Manufacturing Company, his territory being in Alaska. Mr. and Mrs. Logue are the parents of four children: Sophia is the wife of G. W. Wilhoit and they have four sons. Martha is the wife of A. E. Smith, postmaster at Winton; they have two children. Harry A. Jr., married Grace Gibbons, and they have two boys. He manufacturers electric water heaters. Virginia is the wife of Kenneth Brown, a salesman, and they reside in Los Angeles. Mr. Logue is of an inventive turn of mind and has obtained United States patents for an automatic headlight for automobiles, and an automatic block which may be attached to the rear wheels of any automobile. He is also interested in horticulture and owns a five-acre almond orchard at Winton, and in addition owns his residence in town.



One of the pioneer ranchers of Merced County, and a man who aided materially in its development, August C. M. Tetzlaff came to this country when a youth of eighteen years, and by the steady appli­cation of industry and honesty, he built up a name for himself as one of the prominent agriculturists of the San Joaquin Valley, and a man to be relied upon at all times by his fellow-men. Born October 14, 1853, in Germany, he was the son of William A. Tetzlaff, a native of that country and a tailor by trade, who, with his son Frank, emigrated to the United States, and after a short time spent in Baltimore, they both came to California, in 1870, and in 1871 August and two sisters came to America, one sister remaining in Philadelphia; the other and August joined them in California. His mother had died in Germany, and when August arrived in Merced County he entered ranch life as a wage earner on the Applegate Ranch.

The second season in the new country, the two brothers, August and Frank Tetzlaff, entered agriculture on their own account, as joint partners, rented land and engaged in grain growing in the vicinity of the Eugene Morley property. They soon invested in land on Mariposa Creek, formerly the Healy property, purchasing it thirty-five years ago, and continued their ranching activities on an extensive scale, by subsequent purchases adding to their holdings until they owned 2440 acres, and erecting all the ranch buildings, prospering accordingly. They owned 100 head of cattle, and with sixty head of mules, raised and shipped large quantities of wheat and barley from Lingard and Merced, becoming well-known figures in financial circles in the Valley. Both were steady, quiet men, highly respected and esteemed by their many friends in the community. August C. M.

Tetzlaff died in April, 1910, in San Francisco, and Frank passed away in 1912.

The first marriage of August C. M. Tetzlaff united him with Sarah Lauder, who died in 1889, survived by three children: Mrs. Sarah M. McMaster, of Merced; Godfrey M., now deceased, survived by a widow and two children; and Mrs. Dorothy E. Roduner, of Merced.

On June 20, 1899, occurred the second marriage of Mr. Tetzlaff uniting him with Kate Patterson, the fourth of five children born in Mariposa County to the late David and Mary 0. (McKenzie) Patterson, both natives of Scotland, who came to California during the gold excitement, and settled in Mt. Buckingham, Mariposa County. It was in the Patterson home at Mt. Buckingham that the marriage occurred, and Mrs. Tetzlaff's brother, Daniel P., is now residing there. Her parents died when she was a child, and she was reared by an aunt, Mrs. Daniel Gonigal, a sister of her father. Four children blessed their marriage : Herman D., the efficient manager of the home ranch in Merced County, who married Georgia Conway of Merced; Archie C.; William A.; and Emma C.

Mr. Tetzlaff was a man of high honor and principle ; he believed in forwarding the progress of his community, and his ranch was, and still is, conducted successfully, a symbol of the man who built it up. He built the fine residence, which he lived to enjoy less than two years. Today the Tetzlaff ranch is conducted on an extensive scale, modern methods being used throughout by the sons, who manage the business jointly with their mother. Mrs. Tetzlaff is prominent in social and fraternal circles in her home community, and is a member of the Pythian Sisters, and the Women of Woodcraft. The family attend the Presbyterian Church.


A well-known grain and stock man of the San Joaquin, Peter Rahilly is a native son of Merced County, born on January 18, 1879, the fifth of nine children born to Michael and Ellen (Walsh) Rahilly, who were then living on a ranch four miles south of Merced. Michael Rahilly was a native of Kerry County, Ireland, and his wife, Ellen, of Tipperary, that country ; he came out to Napa County, Cal., in 1866, and she followed in 1868, and their marriage occurred in Napa County. There he worked for wages for five years, driving a plow-team at fifteen dollars a month in order to get a start in the new country. He had served in the United States Union Army during the Civil War, and came west at the close of the conflict, to seek his fortune.

In 1877, with the Dugans, Sullivans, Grogans, Thorntons, Sheehys, Bairds, O'Donnells, and others to the number of thirty-six, he moved to Merced County from Napa, and he invested his savings of $1300 in a 160-acre ranch and started farming on his own account. In the meantime, on account of three dry years and one year when the wild cattle ate his crops, he worked out on the harvesters and headers, and with his yearly savings added more land to his holdings, until he finally owned 5600 acres and was identified as one of Merced County's extensive grain and stock men. The community where he settled had in the beginning but three neighbors, in 1877, August Smith, Charles Healy, and E. T. Givens; and the miles were many between ranch homes. By the practice of strict economy, this sturdy pioneer made rapid strides in the farming business, and he remained active through his eightieth year, his death occurring at the age of eighty-one. The wife and mother passed on when fifty-seven years old, from an attack of pneumonia.

Peter Rahilly received his education at the Russell district school, and with his parents became closely identified with the agricultural progress of his district, which line of work he has followed all his life, and he is now the owner of 800 acres of ranch property, and a newly constructed residence with all modern improvements, both in his home and ranch equipment. He specializes in grain and stock raising, and his firsthand knowledge, gained while growing to maturity on the home ranch, has made success assured. His stock, 160 head of cattle, and thirty-five mules and horses, is in the best condition, and he is known throughout the district as a pioneer's son, who works for the good of the community, as well as for his own interest. He served as clerk of the Russell school board for eight years, and is a member of the U. P. E. C. of Merced.

The marriage of Mr. Rahilly, in August, 1908, united him with Miss Mary Furtado, born at El Nido, Merced County, a daughter of the late John F. and Mary (Silva) Furtado. She was reared and educated in the Russell school district. Five children have blessed their union: Peter Jr., Ellen, Michael, Margaret, and Jack. Mrs. Rahilly is clerk of the Russell school board.

John F. Furtado, deceased pioneer, was a prosperous rancher of the El Nido District. He was born at Flores, the Azores, and was preceded to California by a brother, Antone, who was a successful rancher at Suisun, in the sixties. John worked on his brother's ranch for three years at fifteen dollars per month. He had no knowledge of English, but was a good worker, and knew how to save the money so hardly earned. At the end of that time, coming to Merced County, he entered the employ of August Smith, at twenty-five dollars per month, and at the end of seven years was made a partner with Smith in the sheep and wool business and bought land, 160 acres at ten dollars per acre. This was in 1876, and from that time on he prospered, and by subsequent purchases added to his land to the extent of 4000 acres. Great credit is due his foresight and integrity, with­out which he could not have made the success which was his, and which placed him among the highest ranks of Merced County's ranchers at the time of his death. Besides becoming a citizen, he was active in the Republican party, and was a member of the Merced County Central Committee. His death occurred at the early age of fifty-eight years, while his good wife passed on aged fifty-two. She was also a native of Flores, and eight children blessed their union: John, William, Mary (Mrs. Rahilly), Margaret, Lena, Minnie, Antone, and Ella.

History of Merced County California: John Outcalt
Historic Record Company Los Angeles, California 1925
Transcribed by Martha A Crosley Graham – Pages 527-576