Merced County, California
JOHN ALFRED HALLNER Prominent among the Swedish-American population of Merced County is the Hallner family, of which John A. Hallner is a member and the owner of a forty-acre ranch on Turner Avenue two miles southwest of Irwin in the Hilmar Colony. He was born in Carver County, Minn., on March 10, 1867, and at the age to three years was taken to Saunders County, Nebr., by his parents, John and Johanna (Johnson) Hallner, the former born in Westre Jotland on November 7, 1820, and the latter on August 20, of the same year, and they were married in Sweden.
Our subject grew up on his father's farm in Nebraska, forty-five miles west from Omaha, where he had homesteaded eighty acres of land. This was improved by himself and members of the family, all cooperating together until there were 400 acres under cultivation to corn. When this land was divided, John A. received 100 acres as his share. There were seven children in the family, viz.: Andrew, now living in Turlock; Mary married John Smith in Saunders County, Nebr., and died in 1892 leaving four children; Hannah, widow of Samuel Rylen, lives in Merced County; August and Carl are dealers in agricultural implements and automobiles at Mead, Nebr.; Christina is the wife of Charles Youngstedt, of Turlock; and John Alfred, of this review, is the youngest and the only one born in the United States. A girl and boy died in infancy. The family came to America in 1863, settling first in Iowa, and then moved to Minnesota, and in 1870, to Nebraska.
Here John A. Hallner grew up under pretty rough and trying experiences, living in a sod house and battling with blizzards, drouths and grasshoppers. He went to school to his brother Andrew in a sod schoolhouse, and at the age of fifteen went to work herding cattle for his father. Much of his life was passed in the saddle. Carrying his books with him he learned his lessons at spare times while out with the cattle on the Nebraska prairies. His father had a herd of from fifty to one hundred head of cattle. After a strenuous life in Nebraska the parents moved to California in 1912, where they died, the father, January 21, 1913, and the mother, January 22, 1916.
John Hallner was married on his father's farm near Mead, Nebr., to Miss Anna Carlson, a native of Wadesten, Ostre Jotland, Sweden. the daughter of P. G. and Clara (Sundberg) Carlson. The father started for America four months ahead of his wife and family. They had three children : Tina, now Mrs. Sorenson of Randolph, Nebr.; Anna, Mrs, Hallner ; and August, a carpenter who makes his home at times with his brother-in-law, John A. Hallner. Mr. Hallner bought twenty acres when he first came to California in 1912 and has added twenty acres since, and he has improved the place with a good house, barns and other farm buildings. He is a careful student of political economy and casts his vote for progressive and constructive legislation and for the general welfare of the people. In all of his hard work he has had a most loyal helpmeet in his good wife, who shares all his sorrows and rejoices in his successes. They are interesting people, of ready wit and cheerful disposition.
CHARLES B. TILLER One of the best painting and decorating contractors in Los Banos is Charles B. Tiller, who was born in Dekalb County, Mo., on January 26, 1887. He attended school in his home locality until he was eleven, at which time his parents came to Riverside County, Cal., and settled in Corona, where the lad continued his education, then they moved to Lincoln, Placer County, and he finished there. Upon leaving school he entered the laboratory department of the Standard Oil Company in Richmond and remained for eighteen months, when he went to Oakland and served his time in learning the trade of painter. Coming to Los Banos, Cal., in 1905, he soon formed a partnership with W. P. Sears and for four years they did business as painting contractors under the name of Sears and Tiller. Thereafter Mr. Tiller has carried on an independent contracting business. Numerous buildings stand to his credit, among which we mention Bank of Los Banos building, a $150,000 structure; the Masonic Temple; Odd Fellows Hall; Oberon Hotel; two annexes of the Los Banos High School building; the Kneep and Cornett residences. He does all the painting and decorating for F. H. Riedle, which takes in dairy plants all over the West Side. For several years he was painting foreman for Miller and Lux. Thus it will be seen that Mr. Tiller is a very busy man.
When Mr. Tiller came to marry in 1912, he was united with Miss Emily M. Jameson, born in Los Banos, and they have two boys, Norman and Charles B., Jr. Fraternally, Mr. Tiller belongs to Los Banos Lodge No. 312, F. & A. M., and to the Merced Pyramid of Sciots.
A. N. SHEESLEY Whoever labors to instill into the minds of the youth the knowledge of religion founded on the Bible and for the development of upright Christian character, he it is who earns a place as a public benefactor and is entitled to mention in the pages of history. Of such a character is A. N. Sheesley, a leader in church and Sunday School work and proprietor of a fifty-five acre dairy ranch two miles east of Livingston. He was born on July 27, 1871, near Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, Pa., a son of A. J. and Sarah J. (Wachob) Sheesley. The former is living retired in Colorado at the age of eighty-six. Both parents were born in Jefferson County. The mother died in Colorado in 1914. They were the parents of nine boys and one girl. The fifth child, A. N. Sheesley, was ten years old when his parents moved to Spencer, Ohio, where the father followed farming. From Ohio they moved to Clark County, Kansas; nearly ruined by drouth and broke, they moved to Burlingame, Osage County, that state. The advantages offered A. N. Sheesley by the public schools in Pennsylvania and Kansas were supplemented by a course in a business college at Topeka, Kansas, after which he ran a dray business for ten years in Burlingame, Kan.
A. N. Sheesley was married in Burlingame, Kan., to Miss Mabel Wood, a native of that place. Of this union were born three children, namely: Glenwood, an expert livestock man in the Agricultural College at Davis, Cal.; and Clayton and Lois, who are still at home. From Burlingame Mr. Sheesley came to Arena, California in 1908, bringing with him a carload of household goods. His brother-in-law, C. G. Wood, traveling auditor of the Santa Fe Railroad, was already in California.
Mr. Sheesley has a dairy of twenty registered Guernsey cows and a registered bull. He has a home orchard and an acreage of alfalfa and is an active member of the Arena Center of the Merced County Farm Bureau. He has been superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Sunday School at Livingston•for many years and is chairman of the board of trustees of that church; he served four years as president of the California State Sunday School Association as well as holding other positions in that organization.
ANTONE J. NOYA If we travel East as the crow flies about 6500 miles we will find some islands in the Atlantic Ocean called the Azores; on one of these called Flores there was born on January 27, 1873, a baby, now known as Antone J. Noya. There were thirteen children in the f amily, of whom only three are living, A. J. being the oldest. The parents were Manuel and Mary Noya ; the former is dead but the mother is still living. How Antone comes to be in this country and one of Atwater's most substantial citizens is the story which this sketch is to relate.
He grew up at home and went to school in Santa Cruz, in the Azores Islands, and was reared to life on a farm till the age of sixteen when the desire to follow his brothers, Ventura and Constantine, who had come to seek their fortunes in the land of the Setting Sun, was accomplished. His father had come out to California in 1852 and did very well in gold mining and while here took out his citizenship papers, but he returned to Flores and died there in 1890. His brothers were still here and were mining in Siskiyou County. The boy arrived and joined them and worked seven years in the Spangler mine. In 1899 he came to Atwater, then a place of four or five families and only one store. He got a job on the Buhach ranch at one dollar a day. The next year he bought twenty acres of the Mitchell No. 1 Colony, his home place, and planted sweet potatoes. The first season's profit was $285. He followed it up with the growing of fruits and vegetables. He now owns three ranches embracing sixty-five acres and raises large quantities of grapes, sweet potatoes and alfalfa and has been fairly prosperous.
Mr. Noya was made a citizen of the United States at Yreka, Siskiyou County, in 1893, and he exercises his rights as a citizen by voting the Republican ticket. He was married on November 28, 1903, in Yreka, to Ermeline L. Noya, born in Flores, who came to California in 1893 with her father and mother and two sisters. The father died in San Jose, and her mother still resides in that city. Six children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Noya, viz. : Erma F., a graduate from the Mitchell Grammar School, class of 1920; Constantine, a graduate with the same class; Anthony J., in the class of 1926 in the Merced Union High School ; and Joseph C., Ernest E., and Marie E., pupils in the local grammar school. Mr. Noya is a member and a director of the Atwater Pentacost Club Association; belongs to the I. -D. E. S. at Buhach; is a charter member of the Druids of Merced; and a member of Atwater Camp No. 164, W. 0. W. The Noya family are well-liked by all who know them.
PETER ERRECA A prominent sheep man of Merced County and a thorough American by adoption, Peter Erreca represents the best type of Basque manhood. He was born on March 15, 1884, in the Basses-Pyrenees, the son of Gracien' and Catherine (Laxague) Erreca. The father was a farmer in France and died there in 1890 or 1891. His farm was small but he was successful in his way. During his lifetime he made a visit to America, but returned to his native land and there died. The mother is still living on their home place in France and is aged seventy-five years. There were twelve children in the family. Of these, besides Peter, the following still survive : Martin and Jean, both living in Los Banos ; Mike, in San Diego County; Marcelline, wife of Antone Inda, living in Reno, Nev.; and three brothers and a sister still living in France, John, Bernard, Joseph and Mary, the wife of Ferdinand Avambel.
Peter attended the schools in his native country until he was thirteen, and then worked on his father's farm for his mother until he embarked for the United States and California, in 1902. He arrived in Fresno, Cal., in November of that year and found employment for a time on a sheep ranch owned by the late John Menta. From there he went to Madera County with his brother-in-law, and still later came to Merced County, about 1905. Here he worked for his brother, Martin Erreca, and others for a few years, and then embarked in the sheep business for himself. He began on a small scale, and as he succeeded he added to his flocks until now he has about 3000 head of fine French Merino sheep. These he has on the Gastambide ranch about eleven miles southwest of Los Banos, which ranch he has operated for the past two years, meeting with very good success in his operations.
Mr. Erreca was united in marriage in San Francisco, on April 18, 1925, with Miss Catherine Laxague, who was born in France. She is a sister of Mrs. Martin Erreca and Mrs. Jean Erreca, of Los Banos, and is a worthy helpmate to her husband, enjoying with him a widening circle of good friends in their new home in Merced County. Mr. Erreca is public spirited and is ready and willing to assist in every movement that will bring Merced County to the front in the galaxy of counties in California.
JOSEPH M. TRINDADE The development work in soil cultivation done by J. M. Trindade in Merced County is of considerable import from the fact that he was among those who started the raising of diversified crops in what is now one of the largest and richest belts of its kind in the State. He pioneered until he found from experience what would produce and pay, and his foresight in realizing the market situation has been of real benefit to the grower in this locality. A native of Cedros, Flores, Azores, Mr. Trindade first saw the light on September 10, 1870, the fourth of nine children born to his parents, Antone S., and Mary (Souza) Trindade, both natives of Flores and farmers; they did their work in life well, reared their large family of eight sons and one daughter to be of use in the world, and then passed to their reward, the father aged seventy years, and his good wife at sixty years of age.
Mr. Trindade received his education in the public schools of his native country and learned the rudiments of farming on the small home farm. He came to California with a party of his countrymen, and reached Merced, then a small village, on July 4, 1887. Soon after his arrival he went to Mariposa County to work, and in starting earned fifteen dollars a month as a sheep herder. Three months later he bettered his condition by going to work for F. Lopez at thirty dollars a month as a plow boy, and he was so industrious and thrifty that he went into ranching for himself four years later, putting in a crop on the Bennett Ranch, on the Merced-Mariposa County line, farming to wheat and barley, but with slim results. He later tried again, on the C. Ehler place, with better results, each year increasing his operations until he became an extensive grower, his last four years in grain-growing being on the Lee Fancher ranch in Merced County.
Mr. Trindade is now the owner of seventy acres in Ash Colony, there maintaining the Trindade home place, and sixty-two acres in the Atwater-Jordan District. For the past eight years he has had his lands farmed by tenant farmers and his main business is centered in the shipping of fruits and sweet potatoes, buying and selling as an independent, in the territory from Turlock to Merced, his trade mark, "Merced Sweets," being well established and finding a ready market.
The marriage of Mr. Trindade, occurring February 13, 1895, at Merced, united him with Mary A. Rodrigues, a native of Indian Gulch, Mariposa County, and ten children have blessed their union, as follows: Daniel, Inez (Mrs. A. J. Thomas), Bessie, Marie, Joseph (deceased), Amelia, Joseph and Josie (twins), Jesse, and Hubert, all securing a liberal education, and popular with their associates. Mr. Trindade is widely known and well-liked throughout Central California for his dealings are invariably straightforward and his business associates know him to be a man of his word. He is a stockholder in the San Joaquin Light & Power Corporation, the Merced Security Savings Bank, and the Merced branch of the Bank of Italy. A Republican in politics, Mr. Trindade received his United States citizenship in Merced. He has always been active in advancement along educational and social lines as well as in business progress. He contributes liberally to charity, and gives of his time and means to all community betterment. For fifteen years he served as a school trustee of the Franklin district.
HENRY A. DU BOIS Another native son of the State who has made good and has won a place for himself through his own efforts is Henry Du Bois, owner of 106 acres of land in the Fairview Precinct in Merced County, but now residing at the corner of Almond and Gear Road, Turlock, Cal. He was born in San Rafael, Cal., December 22, 1882, the son of the late Dr. Henry A. and Emily (Blois) Du Bois, natives of New Haven, Ct., and New York City, respectively. Dr. Du Bois was a Yale graduate and was a surgeon during the Civil War, being a staff officer of General Sheridan. After the war he came to California and practiced in San Rafael until his death. There were three girls and two boys born in their family, Henry being the second child.
Henry attended the Mt. Tamalpais Military Academy and the San Rafael High School, and was graduated from the University of Nebraska Agricultural College with the class of 1905. Thus equipped for whatever might be in store for him, he returned to California, then went to Harney County, Ore., and took a position on the "P" cattle ranch, which controlled a million acres of land, and he remained there for two years. Then he purchased 320 acres in Lower Lake, Lake County, Cal., and engaged in the stock business, continuing for six years, when he bought his present place in the Hilmar Colony in 1913. Here he has leveled and planted the acreage and made valuable improvements, but he now leases it to tenants.
While residing in Lake County, Henry Du Bois married Miss Beatrice Van Fleet, daughter of M. B. Van Fleet, and a niece of the late Judge Van Fleet, well-known Federal jurist. Five children have come to gladden the Du Bois home circle: Thelma, Alan, Jack, Philip and David. Mr. Du Bois is a member of the Hilmar branch of the Merced Farm Bureau. In politics he is a Republican, but a very liberal one. He is a shareholder in the Farmers Exchange at Modesto, which business is receiving his attention.
ANGELO IACOPI Perhaps one of the most popular Italian-Americans on the West Side in Merced County is Angelo lacopi of Los Banos. The record of his progress since landing in America when a lad of thirteen is one of thrift and perseverance. He was born at Montuolo, Lucca, Italy, on December 11, 1870, the son of Louis and Justina lacopi, both natives of the same section of Italy as our subject. This worthy couple had five children: Almina, living with her mother in Italy; Angelo, our subject; Felice, represented on another page in this history; May, also in Italy; and Pasquale, who died when he was twenty-seven years old, while on a visit back to his home. Louis lacopi died on May 5, 1905 at the age of seventy-eight; the mother is still living and at the age of ninety-eight is hale and hearty and does not look over fifty.
Angelo went to the Italian schools until he was thirteen, then he came to America and upon arriving in San Francisco he sold fruit out of a basket on the streets of that city. He next went to work on the San Pedro ranch in San Mateo County, saved his wages and soon was able to rent some ground and raise vegetables for himself. In 1889 he went to Firebaugh in Fresno County and worked for Miller and Lux, but in 1890 he was recalled to Italy and had to serve his allotted time in the Italian Army, being an artilleryman. As soon as he was free from military service he hurried back to California and began raising beans and potatoes on Staten Island, in the Sacramento River. This was very discouraging, for beans sold for sixty-five cents per hundred pounds and potatoes for ten cents a sack, simply enough to pay for the sack. He quit business and returned to Firebaugh and went to work for Miller and Lux again for twenty dollars per month. He was frugal and saved his money and soon had enough to take him back to Italy in 1897, where he married the girl of his choice who was waiting for him to make his pile in America and go back and get her. Returning to California he went to work for the Kern County Land Company at Bakersfield in opening an artesian well. From there he went to Tulare, then back to Firebaugh and finally got to Los Banos in 1900. Here, he in partnership with his brother, Felice, began the manufacture of soda water and syrups of various kinds and met with success, Angelo buying out his brother and continuing the business. Before this Mr. lacopi was in the liquor business, having a retail and a wholesale establishment. He made money, invested it in property in Los Banos and built houses and today owns some of the most valuable business corners in the town. He also had a nice home built in Italy for his parents, in which his mother is still living and where his father died.
A short time before National prohibition was declared by President Wilson, Mr. lacopi became a candidate for the city council and before he entered the office he disposed of his large stock of liquors at a heavy loss because he did not want to hold office while he was selling liquor. He also has been a heavy loser by indorsing notes for his friends. Notwithstanding all his losses he is optimistic and enjoys life to its full. He has always been large-hearted and generous, liberal with his money and has made and retains his friends.
Mr. lacopi was married in Italy in 1897 to Miss Clara Puccinelli, a native of Lucca, and they have five children: Nello, who is in the employ of the Standard Oil Company, in Los Banos; Amebilia, who married A. Michelotti and has one daughter, Peggy; Jennie, married P. Carlotti, lives in Dos Palos and is the mother of a son, Bruno; Mary married F. Cosella of Dos Palos ; and Laura, who is attending school in Los Banos. Mr. lacopi received his citizenship in Merced in 1902 and is a Republican. Fraternally he belongs to the Eagles, the Druids, the Foresters and the I. D. E. S., all in Los Banos. He conducts an oil station on the highway at the edge of Los Banos. He has a bowling alley and soft drink parlor in his own building on I Street. He is an ex-councilman, serving from 1915 to 1919, during which time many of the improvements were made in the city, streets paved, sewers installed, and the water works enlarged and improved.
ELMER K. ANGLE A leading general contractor and builder of the San Joaquin Valley is Elmer K. Angle of Dos Palos, the builder of many of the reinforced concrete bridges of Merced County in the last eight years. He was born in Louisiana, Missouri, on September 25, 1882, and here he attended the public schools. As a lad he worked at the carpenter trade with his father and at an early age began taking contracts for general building. In 1905 he came to California and located at Dos Palos and since that time has been engaged in his chosen line of work. Among the bridges and buildings he has built are the Santa Rita Slough bridge, built in 1915; the Los Banos Creek bridge over Los Banos Creek, in 1916; the bridge across the Livingston Canal above Atwater; bridges across the double canals on Pacheco Pass lateral; and he has done bridge work all over the San Joaquin Valley. Buildings which stand to his credit are the Medlin block, the Odd Fellows Hall block, the Du Bois block, the George Nickel home and tank house on the Delta Ranch. He built the Dos Palos Public Library, which he sold to Merced County. He also built the North Star and the Reynolds Avenue school buildings in the country; the Dos Palos Grammar School; the new gymnasium of the Dos Palos Union High School and the Dos Palos Junior High in 1924; and he remodeled the two churches in Dos Palos. He owns a twenty and one-half-acre alfalfa ranch on the main canal.
He married Ella May Krigbaum, a native of Missouri, and has three children, Shelton, Mary and Doris. In fraternal relations he is a member of the Modern Woodmen and of Mountain Brow Lodge No. 132, F. & A. M.; Merced Chapter No. 12, R. A. M.; and Fresno Commandery No. 29, K. T.
W B PUGH The
rapidity with which new towns and subdivisions have been developed
in California during the past ten or fifteen years is little short
of miraculous, and great credit is due the men who have been on the
ground from the beginning, literally working like beavers in the
activity attendant upon the opening of new lands, and making them
ready for the influx of new settlers. When Planada, in Merced
County, was first opened by the Los Angeles Investment Company, in
1912, they were looking about for a man to take charge of all field
operations in the opening and laying out of the district, and their
choice settled upon W. B. Pugh, and he was the man who was on the
ground when the "first gun was fired." In fact he "fired" it,
superintending all street grading and other development work in the
new colony, and he has remained steadily in charge and is still the
caretaker for all their interests there today, in the interval
seeing all the changes that the short length of time has made, and
these have been many, for it is today one of the most prosperous
districts in the San Joaquin Valley.
A native of Hancock County, W. Va., Mr. Pugh was born April 10, 1862, the second of nine children in the family of Andrew C. and Matilda (Pugh) Pugh, of that State. The mother has passed on, her death occurring at Chester, W. Va., in January, 1924, but Andrew C. Pugh is still living, and maintains an active interest in affairs at the good age of ninety years. Educated in the public schools of his native county, W. B. Pugh was reared as a farmer's son, and left home when nineteen years old to take a job as apprentice to the blacksmith trade, at Hookstown, Pa. He learned the trade most thoroughly and at the end of eighteen months became his employer's successor to the shop; he later sold out, to enter sales work for the International Harvester Company, and was on the road for many years.
In 1908 Mr. Pugh came West and established a shop, working at his trade once more, first at Santa Monica, Cal., and later moved to Hollywood, until the time when he came to Planada for the Los Angeles Investment Company. He has since made his home there; and he is now owner of one of Planada's fine homes, and also of desirable real estate in the town, which he has seen grow from "the ground up," and his every effort has been to help the progress, thereby adding one more prosperous community to the State, where nothing but bare land had been before.
The marriage of Mr. Pugh, in Hancock County, W. Va., in 1885, united him with Ida Boody, a native of East Liverpool, Ohio, and one son has been born to them, Andrew, an ex-service man of the World War, an expert machinist and tractor man, and now an employe of the Yosemite Valley Railroad Company. Mr. Pugh belongs to the Planada-Tuttle Farm Bureau, and is a real "booster" for Merced County, for he has seen what can be accomplished, and has a very real foundation for his faith in this section of our wonderful State.
STEPHEN P GALVIN Prominent among the professional men of Los Banos may be mentioned Stephen P. Galvin, attorney at law. He was born in Boston, Mass., April 20, 1880, and educated in the public schools and the Boston University Law School; he had a law office in New York City and in Oklahoma. He came to San Francisco in 1910 and was in the law office with Charles F. Hanlon until he came to Los Banos in 1913, where he has since lived and practiced his profession.
In addition to the fact that he is well qualified by education and experience, with a keen and analytical mind, characteristic of the typical attorney, is another important fact that he is interested in public affairs and is thoroughly posted concerning the problems of the municipality in which he lives. This adaptation to fill positions of trust in the city was appreciated by his fellow citizens in his election to the office of city attorney, city health officer, and secretary of the Chamber of Commerce. He has always been prominent in Democratic politics and is a member of the Democratic County Central Committee, and the Democratic State Central Committee.
On August 17, 1909, Mr. Galvin married Effie M. Burke and they have two children : Stephen P. Jr. and Martha R. Fraternally, Mr. Galvin is a member of the Knights of Columbus of Merced, and of the Woodmen of the World, the Druids, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, of Los Banos.
J M FINSTER & HARRY WALLACE FINSTER The advantages that await the cooperation of father and son who are industrious and enterprising are fully exemplified in the accomplishments of J. M. and Harry W. Finster of the Livingston district in Merced County. They own a sixty-acre vineyard located two miles east of Livingston, upon which they settled when they came here from Taft, Cal., in 1913. The land at the time of purchase was a worn-out grain field and by much hard work the property has been made into a fine producing vineyard, one of the best in the county.
J. M. Finster was born in Peru, Ind., on June 26, 1868, the son of Simon and Elizabeth (Danfer) Finster, farmer folk who were born and married in Germany. Fourteen children blessed the home of this couple, but only four boys are living, J. M. being the only one in California. Both parents died in Indiana. J. M. Finster remained with his father until 1889, when he came to California and ran cattle on the range in San Bernardino County. Later he conducted a dairy in Riverside. Going from there to Humboldt County, he remained there for six years and then we find him in Taft, where he was for many years a pumper in the Mascot Oil Company's lease near Taft.
Mr. Finster was married at Highlands, San Bernardino County, to Miss Annie Baker, a native of Iowa, and they have had four children. Mrs. Florence Conradt, living with her father, has two children, Genevieve and Harry. Lester and Chester are twins. Lester, a driller at Huntington Beach, Cal., saw service with the aviation section in France during the World War ; he married Zulu Eccles. Chester is also a driller and he married Miss Alice Cook and resides at Reward, Cal. Harry Wallace was born in Riverside in 1897, worked with his father after leaving the Taft public school and is now a partner and part owner in the Livingston vineyard. He is now working in the oil fields in Tampico, Mexico. Father and son are Republicans and admirers of Hiram Johnson and are in favor of a clean, honest program for efficient government. In February, 1925, J. M. Finster bought a residence in Livingston where he and his family reside, he having leased his ranch.
HENRY L KUNS The custom of many wealthy men, who accumulate property which they must leave behind them to be quarreled over by their heirs when they are gone, has not been followed by Henry L. Kuns. The 1200 acres which he still owns represent what is left after many benefactions, and after distributions to his heirs while yet alive. One of his greatest benefactions, for which he will be remembered by many orphan children, was the gift of a parcel of land at La Verne, in Los Angeles County, for an orphanage known as the David and Margaret Home for Children, named after his father and mother, to whom he was an only child. Four hundred children have been entered and cared for in. this place, and at present there are ninety in the institution. There have thus far been but two deaths at this orphanage, it having the lowest percentage of mortality of any institution in California; and it ranks among the best in the United States.
Henry L. Kuns was born in Cass County, Ind., on November 19, 1847. His father was a native of Pennsylvania and a farmer at Monticello, Ill., where he came in 1853. In 1892 he moved to California; and here he spent the balance of his life at La Verne, formerly Lordsburg, dying in 1905 at the age of eighty-six years. The mother was of Virginian stock and attained the age of seventy-seven years. The father and mother died just four months apart. They were the. first deaths in the family for many years. The son was closely associated with his father in the farming enterprises, although he left home in 1878 and came to Gilroy, Santa Clara County, where he farmed until 1892. Coming then to the San Joaquin Valley, he made his home in Merced County, in the Romero school district. In company with his father he acquired several parcels of land. At one time they owned 5000 acres, but various parcels have been sold off and given away until there are only 1200 acres left.
Henry L. Kuns has not farmed much for fifteen years and is at present interested in drilling for oil in Merced County. Of an acquiring and inquiring mind, Mr. Kuns has for years observed and studied the geological structure of California's oil-fields. Becoming convinced that the structure of the foothills south and west of Los Banos indicated the presence of gas and oil, he leased up a tract of land in that vicinity. Drilling is now in progress; and if this venture proves as successful as present conditions indicate, it will give Merced County one of the most important oil-fields in California.
Mr. Kuns' first marriage took place in Scioto County, Ohio, on March 28, 1870. His wife, Mary Pearce in maidenhood, was the daughter of Joseph and Mary Pearce. They were farmers living in Ohio, where their daughter was born and reared. She died in 1914 leaving five children, namely : Arthur, at present superintendent of a mine at Angels Camp, Cal.; Margaret, Mrs. Williams, of La Verne, Cal.; Lena, Mrs. Neher, of Porterville, Cal.; David, deceased at the age of twenty; Ora, Mrs. Melvin Johnson, of Spokane, Wash. Besides the above-mentioned five children, Mr. Kuns has seventeen grandchildren, fourteen living and three deceased; and also five great-grandchildren, three living and two deceased. The son Arthur has two living children; namely, Lloyd and Norman. Mrs. Williams has three living children: Dorothy, Ronald and Robert. Mrs. Neher has five children: Elrino, Viola, Victor, Bernice and Leland Kuns. Mrs. Johnson has four children: Eoline, Miriam, Launa and Arliss. The grandson Lloyd had a pair of twins that died, and now has one living daughter. The grandson Elrino Neher has two children.
Mr. Kuns was married to his present wife, formerly Mrs. Bartlett, of Mattoon, Ill., on March 8, 1915. She was a widow and had two children by her former marriage, Ruth and Wendell. Mr. Kuns has been a member of the Prohibition party for thirty years. He has lived to see the adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment and hopes to see its complete enforcement.
H BOYD SMITH A native son of the Golden State, H. Boyd Smith, justice of the peace at Dos Palos, is justifying the confidence reposed in him by his fellow townsmen. He was born at Elsinore, Riverside County, .on July 21, 1893, the son of E. B. and Martha B. (Cotton) Smith, natives of Illinois and Iowa, respectively, and both now living. E. B. Smith came to California some thirty-five years ago and was a foreman in the coal mine in Riverside County; and he later became a rancher of that county. Coming to Dos Palos about eighteen years ago, he engaged in the dairy business, and, meeting with deserved success, he is now living retired. Mrs. Smith was a descendant of the Cotton family whose progenitor came from England on the Mayflower. Mr. Smith was twice married and by the first union there are two children, H. M., of Dos Palos, and Mrs. William Codd, of Riverside. Of the second union there are Mrs. V. E. Reynolds, of Manteca; Mrs. H. B. Lucas, of Dos Palos; Mrs. B. Buckham, of Lemoore; and H. Boyd, our subject.
H. Boyd Smith was educated in the schools in Riverside County and Dos Palos and he was a clerk in a general store for some time. Later he engaged in the real estate business in Dos Palos; and he is also handling insurance, representing the Western States Life Insurance Company at Dos Palos and is meeting with success.
Mr. Smith married Oramae Shain, a native of Nebraska, and they have a daughter, Geraldine. Fraternally, Mr. Smith belongs to Santa Rita Lodge No. 124, I. 0. 0. F. at Dos Palos, and to Merced Lodge No. 1-240, B. P. 0. Elks in Merced. In 1922 Mr. Smith became a candidate for the office of justice of the peace for Dos Palos, was elected at the general election that fall and took his office on January 1, 1923, since which time he has ably filled the requirements of the office. He is secretary of the Dos Palos Chamber of Commerce.
P R PETERSON For many years P. R. Peterson has been a resident of Merced County and by his own untiring efforts has become influential in the business circles of Merced, where he conducts a profitable real estate and insurance business. He was born in Wisconsin, November 6, 1872, a son of R. L. and Marie (Sorenson) Peterson, pioneers of Wisconsin. The father is still living at Oregon, Wis., having reached the age of eighty-five years; the mother died on April 3, 1925, aged eighty-one years.
P. R. Peterson completed the grammar and high school courses in Stoughton, Wis.; then he took a business training at an academy. After completing his education he engaged in the shoe business in his native State for twelve years. Then he disposed of the business and came to California.
The marriage of Mr. Peterson united him with Miss Lulu T. Jolley, a native of Merced, and daughter of E. B. Jolley, an old settler of Merced County, who crossed the plains in 1852. Mrs. Peterson's mother came to Mariposa County, Cal., as a girl of eight years; she was a Miss Phillips, daughter of John Phillips, who came to Merced County in 1849 and settled at Merced Falls where he conducted the Phillips Ferry for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson are the parents of two children: Velma Teressa Marie and Ellsworth Elden. Mr. Peterson worked in the Merced postoffice for eleven years and was for some time a postal carrier; besides being thus occupied he was operating a farm in the Bradley Addition adjacent to the city and was among the first to settle in this locality. Mr. Peterson first engaged in the real estate business with H. Nelson, but the partnership was dissolved after one year and Mr. Peterson has since conducted an office independently. Mrs. Peterson taught music in Merced County for eighteen years. Fraternally Mr. Peterson is a member of the Knights of Pythias; he is an enthusiastic athlete and at one time held the tennis Championship for the State of Wisconsin.
J B DULCICH One who has taken advantage of the opportunities that have come in his way, and when the opportunities were not coming has made some, is J. B. Dulcich, the owner of a sixteen and one-half-acre ranch in the Second Bradley addition of Merced, which he acquired by purchase in 1908. It is not a large ranch, but developed as he is doing it, into orchard and vine yard, it will furnish a comfortable livelihood whenever he may wish to retire from other business.
Though of foreign parentage, Mr. Dulcich is a native of California, born in Hunter's Valley, Mariposa County, July 9, 1883, the youngest of two sons born to George and Adelaide (Spagnoli) Dulcich. His brother, Jaciamore, died when eleven months old. His father was born in Jugo Slavia and died at his home in Merced, January 8, 1914. The mother was born in Canton Ticino, Switzerland, and died in Hunter's Valley in 1903. The father left home at the age of twenty and went to sea and, after traveling the seven seas of the world, left his ship at San Francisco in 1861, went to Stockton on a river boat, and by stage from there to the home of his cousin near Hornitos, crossing the ferry at Merced Falls. For twelve years he worked in the Washington Mine. He became a naturalized citizen and a prominent figure in mining circles. In 1873 he took up Government land in Hunter's Valley, built a house there and engaged in stock and fruit production, planting one of the earliest orchards in that section. It proved a wonderful success and he won the esteem of his fellow men and had a wide circle of friends. The property was held till his death, when his son sold it in accordance with a plan of his father's. The mother came out to California in 1868, preceded by her brothers, Joseph and Valentine Spagnoli, both prominent Swiss-Americans at the time of their death, the oldest having come to California in 1849.
J. B. Dulcich received a good education in the Hunter Valley School, then attended by some twenty pupils. At sixteen years of age he took up ranch work with his father and remained at home till he was twenty-three. He was married at Merced to Miss Eloise N. Wickham, born at West Point, Calaveras County. Her father was a pioneer miner of that place and lost his life in a mine catastrophe. Her mother then married Winfield Scott McSwain and resides in the Bradley addition. They have four children: Harold; Verna, a student in the Merced High School; Orval, and Elma. Mr. Dulcich is a member of Merced Camp, W. 0. W. He left the home ranch to work for the Exchequer Mine and Power Company at Exchequer, and three years later he went to the Barrett ranch at Merced Falls, where he was occupied until 1913. He then moved to Merced, and in 1915 came to his own ranch property. Besides his ranching he was in the employ of the Standard Oil Company for three years and delivered oil throughout Merced County with a horse-drawn vehicle; in 1918 he entered the employ of the Associated Oil Company, of Merced, and with motor vehicle covered forty miles a day, going as far as Chowchilla, Madera County.
Mr. Dulcich holds the high esteem of his fellow men and his family is well and favorably known, their home being the center of many happy and social occasions.
CLARKE P RALSTON Perhaps there is no factor so important in the development of an agricultural district as the financial institutions in its immediate vicinity, and the personnel of the management. Among these men is Clarke P. Ralston, a native son of California, born in Bakersfield, on July 23, 1890, the eldest of three children. His father, Frank Wesley Ralston, was also a native Californian, born in San Francisco, on July 21, 1869, the youngest of eight children born to his parents, and was graduated from the pharmacy department of the University of California in 1888. He followed his profession until 1896, when he engaged in ranching on William Cook's ranch, on Bear Creek, Merced County, for three years. At the end of that time, he entered the employ of Klegg, Sherm and Prime Company, a wholesale firm of San Francisco, as traveling salesman, and while on the road, his death occurred in Seattle, Wash., in 1905, when only thirty-six years of age. The mother died at the Bear Creek home in 1895. F. W. Ralston was a member of the Woodmen of the World, and of the Foresters of America of Selma, Cal. A daughter, Mrs. Sadie Meek, resides in Oakland. She is a graduate of the Grammar and High Schools of Merced, and of the San Jose Teachers' College, and was vice-principal of the Michael Angelo School of San Francisco. She is the mother of a daughter, Alberta Ralston Meek. The third child, Albert B. Ralston, is proprietor of the Pleasant Corner Store. He enlisted in the United States Navy, for service in the World War, on June 15, 1917, and was honorably discharged on November 28, 1919. He is a member of the Elks.
Mr. Ralston's grandfather, Maj. Clarke Ralston, the founder of the family in California, was a native of Pennsylvania and was a major in the 66th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving through the Civil War. He was a California pioneer of 1849, coming around Cape Horn, and put in five years in the Southern Mines. He returned East, and after the war, came overland to California with his wife, Eliza (Butler) Ralston, and their six children. He was identified with mining, but located in Landram Colony in Merced County. He moved to San Francisco in 1905, but returned to Atwater, where he passed away in March, 1912, at the venerable age of ninety-three years. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and of the Masonic Lodge of Merced.
Clarke P. Ralston graduated from the Atwater Grammar School when there were but two teachers and forty pupils; there are now eight teachers and 280 pupils, an increase of 600 per cent, all the more remarkable when considering the comparatively short interval of time. After a course in the Polytechnic Business College in Oakland, in 1908, he entered the employ of the Merced Lumber Company, on June 23, 1909. Their yard then required only one man in attendance a third of his time; now the yards have been enlarged and two men are needed steadily, with an extra man working part time. Mr. Ralston remained steadily in the employ of this company until June, 1917, being absent not more than thirty days during a period of eight years. He was then offered a position in the Atwater branch of the Merced Security Savings Bank, and in June of 1918 he succeeded C. R. Shaffer as cashier and manager.
About 1912, Mr. Ralston invested in real estate in Atwater, erected and furnished a home, and on June 16, 1913, his marriage occurred, uniting him with Miss Alta Greene, born in Atwater, a graduate of the grammar school, and for three years a clerk in the local post office. Her parents were Elmer E. and Mattie (Dunlap) Greene, the family being identified as early settlers in Merced County. Mr. Greene was formerly a grain farmer in the Atwater district, but is now a resident of Chowchilla. The mother passed away at Atwater, in December, 1907.
Clarke P. Ralston has been a director of the Merced Security Savings Bank since 1917; on August 12, 1922, he was elected trustee of Atwater on the eve of its incorporation; and during the war he served as chairman of the Liberty Loan drives, and of the Red Cross, for foreign relief, while Mrs. Ralston served in the Home Department of Red Cross work. He is a Democrat in politics, and fraternally is a member of the Lodge and Chapter in Masonry, and of Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. 0. E. He contributes to all public charities, and is active in all projects for the upbuilding of his community.
EDWIN R FOUNTAIN, M D Along with the agricultural growth of Merced County, has come the advancement of its community centers and the steady growth in population. These have brought to the district a class of men to carry on the work of building and maintaining the business and professional life in each community, and more especially in the city of Merced, the thriving center of agricultural activity in one of the richest counties in California. And it is to the caliber of such men that much of the present prosperity is due, for they have been both public spirited and farseeing to a degree, and have laid a very real foundation for future generations to work on. Among these may be mentioned Edwin R. Fountain, physician and surgeon, who for the past twelve years has been identified with the welfare of this section.
A native of Mt. Idaho, Idaho, where his birth occurred on October 18, 1883, he was reared and educated in Klamath Falls, Ore., and in 1907 he graduated from the University of Oregon with his degree of A. B. He later attended the Northwestern University Medical School, of Chicago, and there obtained his degree of M. D., in 1911, after which he spent eighteen months as an intern in the Cook County Hospital, in Illinois, and then returned to Oregon and in 1913-1914 practiced his profession in Portland.
In 1915, Dr. Fountain located in Merced, and established a practice which has grown since that time, making him today one of the best-known physicians in the Valley. His practice here was interrupted only during the World War, when he enlisted as a captain in the United States Medical Corps at Camp Fremont, went from there to Camp Jackson, S. C., and saw active service over seas at Base Hospital No. 60; also at Evacuation Hospital No. 114, at the Front during the worst stages of the conflict. Returning to Merced in 1919, he resumed his practice, and he has gained the esteem of his fellow citizens, both as a man and a physician. He is past president of the County Medical Society, the State Medical Society and the National Medical Association. Fraternally, he is a Mason, having joined that order in Eugene, Ore., and belongs to the Knights of Pythias and the Elks of Merced; he is Commander of the Merced Post, American Legion, and Past Commander of the 40 & 8, a branch of the latter organization; also special vice-commander of the American Legion. In addition to his private practice, he is surgeon for the Southern Pacific for the Merced district.
The marriage of Dr. Fountain, occurring in 1909 at Eugene, Ore., united him with Helene Holmstrom, a native of Kansas, and one son, William, has been born to them, his birthplace being Oregon. The doctor owns a twenty-acre Calsmirna fig ranch on Bear Creek, Merced County, and a forty-four-acre Kadota fig ranch at Lingard. He is a firm believer in the even greater future, advancement in store for this fertile section of the Golden State.
MATT ROSSI The country which gave birth to Matt Rossi, on March 24, 1863, is far away Finland. Though about the same as California in area and population it is very different in climate and general character. How Mr. Rossi came to leave that country and take up a residence so far away from the home of his nativity, and struggle against hard adversity until he has accumulated a competence, is a story worth relating. His father, Matt Anderson, died in the early sixties. His mother, Mary, married a Mr. Rossi, and lived to be eighty. The boy, even at eight years of age, had to work for his room and board on a neighboring farm; and to get any schooling he put in his nights in study and was confirmed in the Lutheran Church at the usual age of sixteen. By the law of the land he had to put in three years of service in the army. While there his eyes were opened to the golden opportunities for advancement in America, and having saved a small amount of money before he went into the army, he used it to pay his transportation and still had twenty dollars clear. He reached California on May 25, 1889, and a month later he came to Merced and entered the employ of the Crocker-Huffman Land & Water Company, and for eighteen years he worked at the various ranches and camps of that company. In 1894 he was made foreman and so remained until 1908, when he resigned to give his entire time to his own ranch, which was coming into production. In the following years he bought forty-two acres of land in the Casad Colony and set out almond, peach and fig trees and also a small vineyard. He also owns desirable securities and real estate and has accomplished much by his own unaided efforts. He received United States citizenship in Judge Rector's court in Merced, and exercises the duties of a loyal American by voting the Republican ticket. He is a member of the Winton Center of the Merced County Farm Bureau.
Matt Rossi married Catherine Kaugus, a native of Finland, who died in 1914 survived by three children: David, Mary Alson, and William. In 1918 Mr. Rossi married Mrs. Mary Johnson, also a native of Finland, who came to California from Canada in 1917, and has four children as follows: Zulla, residing in Canada; Hilda, of Eureka ; Harvey, of Humboldt; and Towner, of Atwater. There are besides eight grandchildren. Mr. Rossi had a hard struggle at first, not knowing the English language, but he persevered and studied nights, till now he scarcely betrays a foreign accent. He is a most enterprising fruit grower and has donated fruits of excellent quality to the county exhibits in our state and county fairs and has won many awards. Of late his products have been sought for display at various state fairs.
B J UKROPINA The younger generation of Merced's business men include none more energetic than B. J. Ukropina, one of the energetic and enterprising proprietors of the United Concrete Pipe & Construction Company, Inc., of Merced. Mr. Ukropina is forging his way to the front solely on his own merits, depending upon tenacity of purpose, ambition and natural ability to connect him with the best citizenship of the county. He was born in Serbia, on October 8, 1895, a son of John and Anna Ukropina ; the father is still living in Serbia but the mother has passed away.
B. J. Ukropina was educated in the grade schools of his native land and at an early age went to work at farm labor. When a little over sixteen he left home, in 1912, for the better opportunities of the United States and came direct to California. He spent one year in Los Angeles, then worked two years for a cousin in Venice, who was a general contractor there. He then went to Fullerton and started in the concrete work and remained there until June, 1918, when he went to Ventura, and with Steve Kral, organized the United Concrete Pipe Company, Inc. He had learned the art of manufacturing concrete pipe, and with his partner continued the business in Ventura with considerable success, until he came to Merced, in the course of the expansion of their business, and in September, 1920, with Tom P. Polich and Steve Kral, organized the Merced Concrete Pipe Company. These partners continued steadily to develop their industry and in 1924 they combined with the United Concrete Pipe Company, of Ventura, under the incorporated name of the United Concrete Pipe & Construction Company, which operates four plants, one in Merced, the others in Woodland, Santa Maria and Ventura, their main office being in the latter city. There is no contract wherein concrete is used that is too large for them to handle and they have carried out some of the largest jobs done in the State in their line. They employ from sixty to 300 men, as the size of the job necessitates, and are continually expanding as their business grows. Each man gives his whole attention to the work in hand and they are accounted among the most representative men of the State in their line of business.
The marriage of Mr. Ukropina, on February 25, 1922, united him with Miss Persida Angelich, and they have one son, John Robert. Mr. Ukropina is a member of the Knights of Pythias and belongs to the Chamber of Commerce of Merced.
THOMAS A WAYNE The leading contractor and builder of Atwater, Merced County is Thomas A. Wayne, born in Effingham County, Ill., on January 21, 1873, the third in order of birth of four children and the only son of G. W. Wayne, a native of Kentucky and a wheelwright by trade. In 1875 he came to California, followed the next year by his family; and the family home was established in Lake County, where he worked in the Sulphur Bank Mine. They later moved to Lower Lake, where he opened a wagon shop, carried on the business many years and died at the age of sixty-five years. He had married Cynthia Ellen Jaycox, who died at the age of sixty-four years. Both parents are buried in Lake County.
Thomas attended the Lower Lake public school and at the age of sixteen went to work in his father's shop, remaining for five years. At the age of twenty-one he engaged in carpenter work, learned the business thoroughly, and in 1902 came to Merced and worked as a journeyman until 1911, when he removed to Atwater, then a village of about 100 inhabitants. Since that time he has done most of the building in that town and vicinity, his handiwork showing in many of the best residences, business blocks and school buildings; in 1925 he erected the Bloss Memorial Library costing $15,000. He is the owner of a ten-acre vineyard in Arizona Colony and his home property in Atwater ; and he is the proprietor of the Atwater Billiard Hall and Cigar Store and is considered one of the substantial men of the town, as well as a public-spirited citizen of the county.
Mr. Wayne was united in marriage with Miss Bertie L. Cunningham of Lower Lake, daughter of the late W. H. Cunningham, a pioneer blacksmith, who was also assessor of Lake County three terms. He was well and favorably known in Northern California. The children of this union are: Leonard A., Nora E., Ethel I., Mildred M., Leta and Thomas A., Jr. Mr. Wayne was elected a member of the first board of trustees of Atwater upon its incorporation in August, 1922. Fraternally, he is a member and a Past Grand of the Odd Fellows lodge at Lower Lake, and a member of Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. 0. E. He stands at all times for cooperation in all public development and is a champion of the rights of the people.
JOHN NORDSTROM Numbered among the well-to-do ranchers of the Hilmar Colony, Merced County, John Nordstrom has met with truly remarkable success, due to his habits of unremitting industry, thrift, and good management. Born in Sweden, on September 1, 1875, he is the eldest of nine children born to his parents, P. A. and Sophia Nordstrom, who never left their old estate in Sweden, the father still living there, and the mother having passed away on March 4, 1925. The owners of a fine farm in the old country, the parents were able to give their children good educations, and John Nordstrom was educated and confirmed in the Lutheran Church, and finished with a course in business college in Stockholm. On completing his schooling, John was apprenticed to learn the machinist trade, and for five years worked in a general machine shop in the manufacture of turbines and all kinds of engines. The lure of "Westward Ho 1" finally had its effect on him, and embarking at Gottenburg, on the ship Mayflower of the Old Dominion Line, he landed in Boston, Mass., in May, 1903. A few days later, May 19, found him stepping off the train at Chicago, where he secured employment in the firm of Pettibone & Millikin, a railway supply company, for whom he worked eight years.
In Chicago, in 1907, Mr. Nordstrom's first marriage occurred, uniting him with Miss Vorborg Bergersen, a native of Norway, and three children were born to them: Morris; Carl Roald; and John Vernon, who has been adopted into the family of his aunt, Mrs. Leonard F. Johnston. In 1911, Mr. Nordstrom enjoyed a six-months tour of Europe, with his wife and eldest son, visiting Norway, Sweden and England; and on May 13, 1921, occurred the death of the wife and mother.
The family had come to California and settled in the Hilmar Colony, in 1912, and, starting with a working capital of only $800, Mr. Nordstrom is now the owner of fifty acres of productive land, twenty acres in the home ranch, and thirty acres one-half mile north of there. He keeps the property in excellent condition and carries on a general /nixed farming, raising alfalfa, corn, beans, grapes, and has four acres of peaches; and in addition operates an eight-cow dairy. That he has met with such results in a comparatively short length of time shows him to be a man of sturdy character, willing to work hard and take advantage of the opportunities so abundant in California and Merced County.
In December, 1923, Mr. Nordstrom married a second time, to Mrs. Freida Lind, widow of John Lind, late of Chicago; she is the mother of three children by her first husband: Clarence, Siegwald, and Lester.
M P LEWIS Numbered among the representative business men of Los Banos, Merced County, are the Lewis Brothers, grocers of that thriving city, who by the careful attention to business and courtesy to their customers have built up a very successful enterprise, principally by anticipating the wants of their many patrons and by carrying a clean and up to date stock. The senior member of the firm, M. P. Lewis, was born in Watsonville, Cal., on September 13, 1885, and attended the public schools of Watsonville in the primary grades, supplementing this foundation by the practical experience gained while in the office of the Watsonville Pajaronian, the leading newspaper of that city. He started to learn the trade, beginning as "devil," after which he followed the trade in Kingsburg, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria and Los Banos. While thus employed he acted as foreman of various shops and during the temporary absence of the proprietors he frequently got out the papers. For a time he had charge of the printing department on the Spreckels Californian at the Spreckels sugar factory.
In 1907 Mr. Lewis came to Los Banos and entered the office as a printer on the Los Banos Enterprise, serving on its staff for several years, later leasing the plant and becoming the editor and proprietor. The possibilities of intellectual development in publishing any country newspaper are varied, but are more than offset by the small financial returns and Mr. Lewis was induced to give up his chosen calling and enter the grocery trade by becoming a partner with M. B. Miranda by buying out J. J. Silva. Later the firm became Lewis and Miranda, and still later Lewis Brothers when Miranda sold out to W. J. and M. P. Lewis, who have since greatly enlarged their stock and expanded their trade so that their patronage now covers a wide area in this section of Merced County. They now have one of the largest, if not the largest grocery store in Los Banos.
Mr. Lewis was united in marriage with Miss Ethel King, born in Salinas, who was a teacher in the Oakland and Los Banos schools. They have one daughter, Marjorie. Mr. Lewis is a member of Merced Parlor No. 24, N. S. G. W., and of the Fraternal Order of Eagles:
LORENZO A SISCHO As proprietor of Sischo's Garage of Los Banos, Lorenzo A. Sischo has established himself on a firm basis in Merced County. He first came to the West Side as a duck hunter, which vocation he followed very successfully for several years, until he decided that he could find better opportunities for advancement here than in any other place he had seen. He was born in the Puget Sound country, at what was called Sischo's Cove on Henderson Bay, Washington, on October 10, 1884, and was the first white child to be born in that locality. His education was obtained in the public schools of Washington, which he supplemented by studying law in Tacoma. In February, 1902 we find him in Los Angeles looking for employment, and not finding anything satisfactory he went out to the E. J. ("Lucky") Baldwin ranch in the country and went to work as a ranch hand.
That same year Mr. Sischo drove a team of horses to Los Banos on a duck-hunting expedition and upon his arrival on the West Side he found more than a hundred men engaged in hunting ducks for the markets in the State. Being a good shot and noting the success made by the other men, he decided he would cast in his lot and therefore he equipped himself for the business and continued in that line of work for twelve years. He not only did a thriving business in supplying ducks for the market, but he studied the scientific side of the game and furnished the Academy of Science with various specimens of birds' eggs, and made a business of capturing wild geese alive and shipping them to various parts of the United States, one shipment consisting of 352 birds. He furnished the New York Zoo with many specimens. In hunting he used the largest bore shotgun made, a No. 2 gauge. After following the business for a time he was humane enough to see that some restriction must be put on the wholesale killing of wild game and he assisted in organizing the People's Fish and Game Protective Association in San Francisco for conserving wild game for all the people instead of the favored few, and he was one of its first directors. In November 1918 he engaged in his present business with a capital of $9.45, and from this small beginning he has developed a business until at one time he had four garages, three in Los Banos and one in Gustine. Disposing of his various places he moved into the new and modern garage that had been built for his use in 1920. He now has one of the most modern and thoroughly equipped garages in the valley. He is the local agent for the Dodge Brothers automobile, also handles various makes of tires and does a large battery service business and is meeting with success.
When Mr. Sischo came to marry he chose one of Merced County's native daughters, Miss Kate Pedroni, born at Volta, and they have a daughter Dorothy. Mr. Sischo was elected justice of the peace of Los Banos and served from 1908 to 1913. He is public spirited and does what he can towards promoting the best interests of his adopted town and county.
FELICE IACOPI An enterprising citizen of Los Banos, Felice Iacopi is a self-made man in every sense of the word for he landed in San Mateo County, California, with nothing in the way of cash and only his willingness to work and a strong constitution as his only assets. A native of Italy, he -was born at Montuolo, Lucca, on November 18, 1872, the son of poor but highly respected parents who gave their children such schooling as was possible under the circumstances. When he was sixteen years old he left home for the United States and arrived in Sacramento, Cal., in April, 1888, with just ten cents in his pockets. This he spent for a plug of tobacco, feeling that he might as well be broke in the new country as own one lonely ten-cent piece. He made his way to the San Pedro ranch in San Mateo County, later came into the San Joaquin Valley and in 1890 worked for Miller and Lux in Merced County. Then he went to Tulare County, and it was while he was employed there that he received his citizenship, as a United States citizen at Visalia. He came back to Merced County and worked for Miller and Lux again. In 1901, with his brother, Angelo Iacopi, he bought the Los Banos Soda Works and they operated it for a time ; then Felice sold out to his brother and built an ice plant, which he operated for some time, then leased it for a creamery. He then became the agent for the Union Ice Company, which he still continues and at the same time deals in fuel. At the fire in August, 1919 our subject lost considerable, but nothing daunted he rebuilt and continued doing business.
Mr. Iacopi was married January 2, 1905, in Los Banos to Teresa Puccinelli, born in Italy, and they have six children: Louis, Fred, Emma, Velia, Mario, and Dante. Mr. Iacopi is self educated in English, is well-known and well-liked in Los Banos and is always ready to help put through any worthy project that he believes will help the town and its people.
OLOF P ANDERSON A name which will be remembered long in the Hilmar Colony as belonging to a man of sterling worth and exemplary character in the community in which he has lived, a self-made, hard-working God-fearing man, is that of Olof P. Anderson. No less honor is due to his loyal and faithful help-mate, who has mothered nine children and helped put them all through the high school, and a number of them through the university, and is still well preserved, active and interesting. Mr. Anderson is a son of Aaron and Mary (Pearson) Rosen. His father was in the Swedish army and passed most of his life as a soldier. Olof was the sixth in order of birth in the family of seven children and was born in Sale, Sweden, on August 28, 1859. He grew up in Sweden and began working out on farms when only eleven years old. He has a brother, Jacob, in Turlock, a sister, Sophie, in New York City, and three sisters still in Sweden.
In 1882 Olof P. Anderson embarked at Gottenburg, Sweden, on the S. S. Romeo for America, landing at Hull, England, then took the train to Liverpool, from there crossed the Atlantic and after a stormy voyage of eleven days arrived at Castle Garden, N. Y. He proceeded at once to Fremont, Nebr., and worked around as a farm hand for a year and a half. He next went to Haxtum, Colo., and there took up a homestead of 160 acres and proved up on it, but it proved to be a drouthy country and not well adapted to general farming.
Mr. Anderson there met and married Charlotte Marie Anderson, a countrywoman, whom her parents, Anders and Johanna Johnson, brought to this country when only eighteen months old with three other children. They first settled and lived for four years near Lincoln, Nebr., then moved to Colorado. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson lived on his Colorado homestead and farmed for seven years, then returned to Nebraska and rented a farm at Mead, and engaged in farming and stock-raising for four years. They then moved to Warsaw, Knox County, Nebr., where they farmed for seven years before coming to California. They joined the Swedish Mission Church in that city. Mr. Anderson bought a ranch of forty acres in Hilmar Colony without seeing it, but sold off three acres. They have nine children as follows: Ephraim Julius, who owns an undivided one-half interest in a thirty-five-acre farm in the Hilmar Colony across the road from his father's place; Joseph Emanuel, a professor in Heald's Business College in San Francisco; Reuben Benjamin, bookkeeper and assistant cashier in Hill Brothers' Coffee Company, San Francisco ; Olga Ruth, a registered nurse in San Francisco ; Lydia Elizabeth, stenographer in San Francisco; Hildur Marie and Naomi Mariam, both seniors in the University of California ; Clarence Nathaniel, a graduate of the Hilmar High School ; and Florence Viola, a junior in the Hilmar High School.
WILLARD R DAVIS The life which this article narrates began in Brookfield, Mass.; on November 16, 1847. The only son and survivor of three children, Willard R. Davis has experienced many hardships and struggles against adversity, and has seen many changes in the space of seventy-eight years. When he was a small boy his father, Benjamin F. Davis, went to Pikes Peak and was never heard from. His mother, Alice (Rice) Davis, a native of Massachusetts, moved to Chicago and died there in 1853. The children were then taken to Bowen Prairie, Jones County, Iowa, where Willard was reared on his uncle's farm, attending school until he was fifteen. When he was eighteen he hired out to some men who were coming to California, but on the way he stopped at Reese River, Nev.; from there he went to Virginia City, encountering many tough experiences common to those days. In 1868 he came on to California, and stopping in San Francisco, heard there was a good chance to get work at Mountain View, Santa Clara County, and thither he made his way. He spent some time working on ranches, then went to White Pine, Nev., and from there packed in to Hamilton. In 1871 he went to Kansas and took up a government claim on the Osage Indian reservation. He suffered many set-backs and decided he would return to California. He then spent five seasons in Mountain View section, and in 1877 went to Eastern Washington and staid four years. He returned to California and bought forty acres in the Kearny tract in Fresno County and tried raising raisin grapes, but it did not pay at 2c per pound; then he went to Cotati and tried the poultry business there and in Santa Rosa, but the Mississippi Valley cold storage eggs forced him out again and he spent two years in the quicksilver mines in Lake County. In 1904 he bought eighteen and one-half acres one and one-quarter miles from Atwater and raised beans and sweet potatoes as a double crop; he also set out fig trees, getting the stock from George Roeding in Fresno in 1905. He developed his property and now has ten acres in figs. In 1920 he built his house and the following year his barns and installed lighting facilities in his home. His sister, Violet Huff, came from Walla Walla, Wash., and lived at his home about eighteen months, until her death in 1918.
Mr. Davis was married in San Diego on January 1, 1921, to Mrs. Helen (Rogers) Wright, a native of Wetumpka, Ala., born in 1848, who on September 17, 1867, was married to Dr. W. A. Wright, a prominent surgeon in Waco, Texas. He died in 1908 and his widow came to California in 1909, accompanying her daughter, Mrs. Annie Willet, to her home at Yam. Mrs. Davis is the mother of five children, as follows : A. M., R. E., Mrs. Annie Willet, J. B. of Indianapolis, and Ella. There are twenty-two grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Mr. Davis has prospered well of late years and is now living comfortably in his home.
DANIEL T HALEY Through their removal from their native Ireland and their settlement in California the Haley family attained a degree of independence and prosperity that would have been impossible in the old home. It was during 1850 that William Haley crossed the plains in the primitive manner then necessary, and cast his fortunes with the new and undeveloped State of California. He settled in San Francisco, where he worked at his trade as a brick-layer. In 1854 his wife, who was Miss Esther Byrne before her marriage and two sons came via Panama to California. In 1860, William Haley engaged in the dairy business in San Francisco, and from that humble beginning has been evolved the present Dairy Delivery Company. Eight children were born to this pioneer couple, four of whom are still living, namely: James W., residing at Los Banos ; Mary Catherine, living in Palo Alto; William Edward, who also resides in Palo Alto; and Daniel T., the subject of this sketch.
Daniel T. Haley was born in San Francisco on November 11, 1854, and there early was trained to habits of industry and thrift. He attended the Spring Valley school and while still young in years became associated with ,his father in the dairy business. The business was first known as the Laurel Vale Dairy; later the firm name was changed to the Dairy Delivery Company, this being the outcome of the great fire of 1906, when seven other companies consolidated and formed this one company. In 1908 Mr. Haley came to Gustine to take charge of the branch which he had established at this place, and here he has since resided. The Gustine plant furnishes from eighty-five to 100 ten-gallon cans of cream a day, and this product is distributed by the San Francisco plant. The main plant in San Francisco distributes some 10,000 gallons of milk daily to customers in San Francisco and Burlingame and other towns in that vicinity.
The marriage of Mr. Haley united him with Miss Grace Truitt, born at Wheatland, Cal., daughter of George Washington and Rose Truitt, natives of Missouri and Oregon, respectively. They were pioneers of Yuba County. When Gustine was incorporated, in 1915, Mr. Haley was elected mayor of the town. After his term in office expired, for a year and a half he was not active in political affairs ; but he was again elected mayor, and still holds the office at the present time. Mr. Haley is Democratic in his political views. Fraternally he is affiliated with Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. 0. Elks; Sequoia Lodge No. 615, N. S. G. W., San Francisco; the Knights of Columbus of San Francisco; and also the Young Men's Institute No. 4, of the same place. He is a member of the California Dairy Council.
H P SARGENT In a country in which agriculture is entirely dependent upon irrigation for production there is no more responsible position than that of secretary and right-of-way man, which H. P. Sargent has held with entire satisfaction for the Merced Irrigation District. Though he owns a twenty-acre ranch in the Fruitland voting precinct, he gives his entire time and attention to his official duties and his office is in Merced.
The son of Franklin H. and Elizabeth (Ham) Sargent, he was born in Norway, Maine, October 5, 1879. His father, who was a builder and contractor, moved to Salem, Mass. in 1881, and worked principally as a brick and stone mason; he built some of the leading business blocks in Salem, and remodeled the old Ropes (historic) museum in Salem. He is the man who moved the Ghirardelli Chocolate exhibit building at the Chicago Exhibition to Brookline, Mass., and rebuilt and remodeled it into a mansion for its millionare owner. He died at Fair Oaks, Cal., in 1918, when sixty-six years old. His wife died in Salem in 1893.
H. P. Sargent attended the grammar schools and after he had graduated from the Salem High School, in 1897, he took care of his father's office, keeping his books and accounts in his building operations. He was so engaged until he came to California in January, 1898, accompanying his father to Fair Oaks, where the latter bought an olive and orange ranch. He helped his father on the ranch and became the assistant manager of the olive and orange department of the Fair Oaks Fruit Company, continuing thus engaged until 1906.
H. P. Sargent and Idaline Adele Buckley, a native of Truckee, Placer County, were united in marriage on June 14, 1906. She was the daughter of John Mason and Emma (Orr) Buckley. Her father was born in Boston and was a mechanical engineer who came to California and was employed by the Central Pacific Railroad Co., in its machine shops at Truckee, as a master mechanic. Her grandfather, James Orr, was born in Scotland and was a California Forty-niner. He mined at Coloma and Virginia City and he worked on the Comstock Lode in Virginia City, Nevada. Idaline Adele was graduated from the high school at Colfax, and from the State Normal School in Stockton with the class of 1895. She took a post graduate course in pedagogy under Miss Bernard at the University of California. She specialized as a primary teacher for three years before her marriage and is now in charge of the primary department of the Atwater Grammar School. They have one son, Franklin Buckley, now a student in the Merced Union High School.
In 1907, Mr. Sargent went to Sacramento and entered the county clerk's office and served as clerk and deputy under William B. Hamilton until his death, and under his successor, Ed. F. Pfund, until his decease, and he then became assistant county clerk under Harry W. Hall, the present county clerk of Sacramento County. During that time for eight years he was clerk of the Superior Court under Judge Peter J. Shields, the present incumbent. He also served four years as chief deputy county clerk and registrar of voters. In politics he is a stanch Republican. He took an active part in carrying the bond election for the Merced Irrigation District and was appointed right-of-way man and later secretary for the district.
CHARLES MARCHESE California is noted for many things, such as gold, fruits, climate and so forth; it also has its meed of self-made men, for here, perhaps more than in any other section of our country, are the opportunities offered the ambitious and enterprising young men to get ahead and make a name and place for themselves. One of this number is Charles Marchese, the enterprising and successful plumber of Los Banos, who has done about one-half the plumbing business of the fast-growing city. A native son, he was born in San Francisco, on September 29, 1889, the son of James and Antonia (Tringla) Marchese, both natives of Italy and now deceased. The father came to Merced County in 1884 and was employed as a gardener by Miller and Lux. Later he was able to buy some land and he followed ranching on it until 1918, when the family moved into Los Banos, where he died aged sixty-eight years. His widow died in 1921 at the age of sixty-five. They had eleven children, seven of whom are still living.
Charles Marchese attended the public schools in Los Banos and in 1908 entered the employ of Ed. Hoffman to learn the plumbers' trade. When he had mastered the craft he went to San Francisco and worked as a journeyman for a time, then went to Los Angeles, where he continued at his trade until 1912, when he returned to Los Banos and started in the business for himself. In 1909 he assisted with the plumbing of the Los Banos Bank building and the Morbes block; he has done the plumbing on all the business blocks but one erected to the present time in Los Banos; the Cirimele block, one of the finest in the city, the Toscano residence and the original grammar school building are among the many jobs he has executed since opening his shop in 1912.
Mr. Marchese was married on January 19, 1916, to Ida Morbes, born in Stockton, and they have two children, Eddie, born in 1917, and Mary, born in 1920. Mr. Marchese is a wide-awake citizen, ready at all times to do his share towards the general good and is highly respected by all who know him.
JOHN ERICSON The position held in Merced County by John Ericson has been reached by his own unaided efforts; and the varied interests with which he has been identified indicate his adaptability to conditions and his resourcefulness. He was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on June 14, 1856, and at the age of fifteen began clerking in a store; when he was seventeen he went to Hudviksvall, Sweden, and for eight years was in the service of two employers. In 1881 Mr. Ericson bade good bye to his native land and embarked on the S. S. Wyoming, at Gottenburg, for America and he arrived at Castle Garden, N. Y. on July 6. Proceeding to Chicago he secured a position in a grocery store, working for his board the first two weeks; for the next four weeks he received five dollars per week in addition to board. His first week's pay was given to him in a $5 gold coin, which he had made into a watch charm. He continued as a clerk until 1890, then secured a position of time keeper in the shops of the Chicago and North Western Railway in Chicago, remaining with that company until 1912. Owing to his being a good penman, and quick with figures, Mr. Ericson was advanced from one position to another adding more responsibility each time, until the last ten years with the company he was general time keeper and cashier and had general charge of the company's pay roll, there being about 5000 employees to be settled with each month.
When Mr. Ericson came to California in 1912, he settled in Merced County and purchased twenty acres from the Crocker-Huff man Land & Water Co., Lot 85 in Merced Colony No. 2, Winton district, which he improved and set to Malaga grapes and fruit, now having one of the finest Malaga vineyards and orchards in the district. He has won more than ordinary distinction as a horticulturist and is a frequent exhibitor at the Merced County Fair and other local exhibitions and usually brings home the blue ribbon, now having quite a collection. He is a member of the California Fruit Exchange, the California Prune and Apricot Association, and the Almond Growers Exchange. He is also a member of the Winton Center of the Merced County Farm Bureau. Mr. Ericson knew nothing about fruit growing but he has developed a fine fruit ranch; he knew nothing about carpentering but with his own hands he built his house and other ranch buildings.
On June 24, 1886, John Ericson and Miss Josephine Davis were united in marriage. She was born in Clinton, Iowa, on May 19, 1867, the daughter of David and Sarah H. (Sluman) Davis. Mr. and Mrs. Ericson have one daughter, Florence Dorothy, who married Edward Sandman and lives at Fresno ; and they have two children, George and Jeanette. Mrs. Ericson is a member of the Woman's Improvement Club of Winton. Mr. Ericson is a Republican in national politics. Fraternally he is a member of Austin Lodge No. 850, A. F. & A. M.; Cicero Chapter No. 180, R. A. M., both in Chicago; Siloam Cornmandery No. 54, K. T. of Oak Park, Ill.; and Medina Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S. in Chicago. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ericson have attained to a high place in the esteem of the community where they live and they take an active interest in all movements for the betterment of the conditions of the county in general.
CHARLES F RIEDLE The position of postmaster in any town or city is an office of public trust and the holder of such a position is selected for the post because of his personal qualifications and ability. Such a man is Charles F. Riedle of Los Banos, who received his appointment from President Wilson, although he is a Republican in politics. He was born in New York City on October 15, 1885, and his education was obtained in the grammar and high schools in that metropolis and in Macon, Mo., which he supplemented by attending Park College in Parksville, Mo. This schooling enabled him to secure an appointment in the United States postal service in Denver, Colo., which he held for eight years. He arrived in Los Banos in 1914 and engaged in the building business, later becoming a contractor, specializing in erecting dairy buildings on the ranches in the vicinity of Los Banos. He was building up a reputation for efficiency and his abilities were soon to gain recognition.
The fire which caused the loss of over one million of dollars occurred in Los Banos on August 27 and 28, in 1919, and it was the day following that he received the appointment as postmaster. He was confronted by a serious problem, that of keeping the postal service in operation and creating order out of chaos. This he did to the eminent satisfaction of the citizens, who recognized in Mr. Riedle distinct qualities of leadership, and he won and has since maintained the confidence of all the people of Los Banos. He is a booster of the highest order for Los Banos and vicinity. Fraternally he is a Knight Templar Mason and Shriner, holding his membership in Denver, Colo. Locally he belongs to the Los Banos Chamber of Commerce.
LESLIE A KAHL Among the younger representative ranchers of Merced County we find the Kahl name closely identified with its best interests through Leslie A. Kahl. He was born on Bear Creek on the Kahl ranch established by his grandfather, Adam Kahl, on September 26, 1890, the oldest of the two sons born to Ernest D. Kahl and his wife, mention of whom is made on another page of this work. Leslie attended the Plainsburg School and the Oakland Polytechnic, where he took a business course, after which he returned to the ranch and assisted with its operation. With his brother James A., he is carrying on the extensive interests owned by their father, to whom the sons give all credit for their present success.
The sons raise large quantities of wheat, barley and oats, and are continually doing development work, having leveled and checked sixty-five acres and put in alfalfa, and have set out seventy-five acres of fig trees. The brothers have become popular through their breeding of Duroc Jersey hogs and Durham cattle, thereby doing a great deal to raise the standard of hogs and cattle in this section. They own and conduct the grain elevator at Athlone, where the ranchers within a radius of ten miles find it convenient to store and ship their grain. Their land under cultivation reaches some 3000 acres.
On August 10, 1916, at Stockton, Mr. Kahl was united in marriage with Miss Gladys Brandon, a native of Merced County, the youngest daughter of Amberson Brandon, well-known grain farmer here. Mrs. Kahl is a graduate of the Stockton Normal and was engaged in teaching school in Merced, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties for seven terms. Of this union three children have been born : Elizabeth Ann, Phyllis M., and Marvin Leslie. Mr. Kahl is a director in the Le Grand Bank, and clerk of the board of trustees of the Plainsburg school, serving his third term. He belongs to the Presbyterian Church at Merced. Fraternally, he is a member of Yosemite Lodge No. 99, F. & A. M., and belongs to Merced Pyramid of Sciots, and to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is straightforward in all business matters, believes in doing what he can to assist in the development of his native county and is held in high esteem. Both brothers have erected comfortable homes adjoining on the home ranch, where they were reared.
JOSEPH A WOLF In many ways Joseph A. Wolf has proved himself a good citizen of Merced County, contributing to its growth, fostering its enterprises and promoting its general welfare. He has been especially interested in education and is a member of the board of trustees of the Livingston Grammar School and helped to carry the vote for the $200,000 bond issue for the new Merced Union High School district, $125,000 of which was used for the Livingston unit of the district. He was born in Detroit, Mich., on August 2, 1879. His father was a native of Germany who came to America when a boy; he was a building contractor and died at his home in Detroit when seventy-one years old. His mother, Mary (Crowley) Wolf, was accidentally killed by a motor truck when on her way to church the Sunday before Thanksgiving in 1916, at the age of sixty-three.
Joseph was the eldest of five children, the others being Jeremiah E., a building contractor in Detroit ; Daniel, a contractor and builder and an insurance and real estate agent in Detroit; Clara, wife of C. M. Spencer, in Detroit; Charles, a foreman for his brother in building and contracting. Joseph A. Wolf attended the public schools in Detroit and worked for three years in the Roe & Stevens Iron Works in that city. The next two years he worked with his father at contracting and building. While in Detroit he was a member of Company E., Michigan National Guard, and when war was declared against Spain, the regiment of which Company E was a unit was united with the regular United States infantry and Mr. Wolf was placed in Company M, 32nd Regiment of Michigan Volunteers. He was mustered in April 26, 1898, at Island Lake, Mich., and served through the Spanish-American War, stationed at Tampa, Fla. He was mustered out November 9, 1898, being dangerously ill with typhoid malaria, and was discharged in February, 1899. After the war he put in ten years with the Detroit United Railway. In 1909 he came to California and bought land of the Cooperative Land and Trust Company in the Livingston district, where he now lives.
On January 8, 1903, J. A. Wolf was married to Miss Lynne Roxana Daly, born in Dover township, Lena County, Mich., the daughter of Franklin and Maria ( Macomber) Daly. She represents the fifth generation of the Dalys in America. Grandfather Daly was a Collector of the Port at Lockport, N. Y., and was a veteran of the Mexican War. She was the youngest of six children. The others were as follows : Henry F., of Adrian, Mich.; Josephine E. became Mrs. George Oram, of Adrian, Mich., and died in 1920; Mary Evaline, widow of John Pooley, lives in Detroit; Edwin F., also of Detroit, and Thaddeus B., of Blackfoot, Idaho. Mrs. Wolf was educated in the high school in Adrian and is the mother of five children: Phyllis H.; Edith Louise, who married Robert Sutherland and lives in Modesto; Robert Joseph; Laura Helen and Edwin Leo. In 1920 Mr. Wolf was elected a member of the board of trustees of the Livingston Grammar School, since which time the new building has been erected and now the city has two fine grammar schools employing ten teachers. He is an active member of and chairman of the Livingston Farm Center. Mrs. Wolf has passed through all the offices of the Home Department of the Livingston Farm Center. The family are members of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church at Merced. As a man and citizen, Mr. Wolf keeps himself well informed on all matters of public moment and votes for the best men and measures at all elections.
NETTIE H. MAYES From the time of the establishment of the San Joaquin Valley Cement Pipe Company, Nettie H. Mayes has had charge of the financial end of the business and owns a third interest in the concern. This company owns and operates three factories, one at Chowchilla, established in 1917, one at Livingston, established in 1919, and one at Herndon, established in 1922. The firm is composed of S. Y. Mayes, the originator of the business, Nettie H. Mayes and John Baisa; they manufacture the guaranteed hi-test irrigation drainage and sewer pipe under their duly registered trade mark, "Hi-test," and the three factories have a combined capacity of one and a half miles of pipe per day. The sand used in the factories is washed-sand from Friant, Fresno County, and the cement comes from Davenport, Cal., and is known as Santa Cruz Portland cement.
Mrs. Mayes' maiden name was Nettie Hartzell and she was born at Waubeek, Iowa. She grew up in the Hawkeye State and was graduated from the State Teachers' College at Cedar Falls. She came to California in 1907 and for six years taught in the Wilson Grammar School at Pasadena. At Santa Ana, Cal., Miss Hartzell was married to S. Y. Mayes, born at Melrose, Texas. The third partner, John Baisa, was born in Texas and is of Spanish descent; he has charge of the factory at Livingston. Mr. and Mrs. Mayes reside at Chowchilla, where they own the telephone building and other valuable property; they also own a lemon ranch in San Bernardino County, and property in Livingston and Herndon, besides a row of houses near their factory in Livingston, which are occupied by their employes.
FRED H. RIEDLE The natural-born capacity that developed Fred H. Riedle into one of the most successful contractors and builders in Los Banos began to manifest itself when he started in to learn the trade of carpenter at an early age. He was born in New York City, on August 18, 1887, attended the public schools, and after leaving school began learning the trade in Sayer, Okla., after which he traveled about and worked as a journeyman in Amarillo, Texas, in Fargo, and in Portland, Ore., coming to Los Banos in 1912. In point of service he is the oldest builder in Los Banos, having erected eighty per cent of the dairy buildings on the West Side in Merced County. He constructs everything in line with dairying, barns, milk houses, flumes, silos, windmills, tank houses, pump houses, etc. He has built over 300 homes in and about Los Banos, designing many of them himself. Of these homes we mention those of Mrs. Alma Wilson, Mrs. Carrie Wilson, A. C. Smith, Carl Hultgren, S. P. Dismukes, and Mrs. Harry Lower. He also built the Catholic parish house, the L. H. Hoffman and Nick Cuiffo business blocks, and thirteen houses for Dr. C. E. Heikner. In 1925 he built the American Legion building costing $15,000, in Los Banos. To facilitate his work he operates a planing mill and lumber yard in Los Banos.
Mr. Riedle was united in marriage with Sephese Van Wickle, daughter of a pioneer family in Merced County. Fraternally he is a Mason, belonging to Los Banos Lodge, No. 312, F. & A. M. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, belongs to the Los Banos Volunteer Fire Department, and is serving as a city trustee.
WILLIAM H JOHNSTON Honored as the son of most worthy parentage and the father of a family that has done great credit to their country and their bringing-up, W. H. Johnston is the sixth in order of birth of seven children born of the marriage of Rev. Thomas M. and Helen (Steele) Johnston, natives of Kentucky and North Carolina, respectively. The father went to Missouri with his parents in the early thirties and there studied law and became a journalist; later he entered the ministry, which calling occupied the greater part of his life. He came to California about 1859, followed by his family in 1860, and they settled first in the San Ramon Valley, in Contra Costa County, removing in 1865 to Stockton. While at Alamo he was publisher of the Pacific Observer, a Presbyterian organ. In 1870 they moved to Berryessa Valley, in Napa County, where he had charge of the Presbyterian Church work through his declining years. The present pastor of this church at Winters, in 1923, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary as successor to Rev. Thomas Johnston, He died in Napa in 1877.
The son, W. H. Johnston, was born in Greene County, Mo., on April 16, 1857, and educated in the schools of San Joaquin and Napa Counties. He was brought up as a farmer's son and early gave attention to the production of grain and stock. in 1886, in company with his brother, J. R. Johnston, he carried on a farm in Berryessa Valley for four years when the partnership was dissolved. Our subject was thereafter for thirty-seven years engaged in raising cattle and hogs in the same location. Selling out the property in Napa County he came to Merced County in 1908 and engaged in the dairy business and fruit raising near Atwater. He is the owner of fifty acres on the edge of Atwater, a portion of the late 3. W. Mitchell estate.
W. H. Johnston was married in Napa County in 1885, to Clara Wassum, the third of seven children born to T. A. Wassum and his wife. She was born in Yountville, Napa Valley, in 1865, and died from injuries received in a train and auto collision at the Yam crossing on the Santa Fe, in 1921. There were four children of the union: Edith (Mrs. W. S. Newhall), who has two children, William S. and Franklin; Thomas H.; Finis, and Bennett M. Thomas H. served in Company C, 361st Regiment of the A. E. F., and was honorably discharged on May 5, 1919. Finis served in Company 14', 58th Infantry, 4th Division, and was killed in action at Chateau Thierry, on July 18, 1918. Mr. Johnston recalls the first steam train to Stockton in 1869. The family were living then on Sutter and Weber streets, that city.
GEORGE B. SMITH
Holding the important office of supervisor of the Fifth District in Merced County, George B. Smith has taken a part as a leader in his section of the county and by his close attention to the wishes of his constituents has won a firm place in their regard. He was born in Warren, Warren County, Pa., on April 21, 1872, the son of Cyrus and Sarah (Spaulding) Smith, natives of New York and Pennsylvania, respectively. The Smith family came to California in 1877, the father following ranching near Galt, in Sacramento County, and later near Lodi, in San Joaquin County. George B. was educated in the public schools of Galt and in the Woodbridge Academy, after which he worked out on ranches, in time becoming a manager, which position he filled with several ranch owners. In the spring of 1890 he came down into Merced County and engaged in farming on the plains about fifteen miles south of Los Banos; then for a time he was in the liquor business in the town, selling out upon the enforcement of the prohibition proclamation issued by President Wilson.
George B. Smith was united in marriage with Bertha Nelms, a native of Tennessee, and they have two children ; Earl B. and Mrs. Georgia M. Powers. Mr. Smith was elected a member of the board of trustees of Los Banos and for eight years, from 1914 to 1922, served as chairman of the board. It was during his administration that the city voted a bond issue for $150,000 for municipal improvements and the old water works were purchased from Miller and Lux, greatly enlarged and extended to every part of the city ; also nearly all of the street improvements were installed and other civic projects were carried out. Mr. Smith has always favored public improvements for town and county and in the fall of 1922 he was elected, on the Democratic ticket, to membership on the board of supervisors; and as such he is filling the responsible office to the best of his ability and giving the people of the entire county the best there is in him, he stands high in the esteem of all who know him.
EDWARD SCHULTZ An intelligent and prosperous business man of Merced County is found in Edward Schultz, who is a member of the firm of William W. Abbott & Sons Garage at Livingston, and a prosperous baker in the town of Le Grand, where he opened up a bakery on March 1, 1925, and is rapidly building up a good trade with the able assistance of his wife. He was born in one of the German colonies on the Volga River in Russia, on December 21, 1888, a son of Rev. Alexander George Schultz, a Lutheran minister and also a school teacher who is still living in Russia. When eighteen years old Edward bade goodbye to his home folks and sailed for America, and landed at Ellis Island, N. Y., on November 21, 1907. He left immediately for Cincinnati, Ohio, where he found employment in a shoe factory at six dollars per week; remaining there until 1908, when he came to California and stopped at Fresno, where he worked in the Home Bakery, and learned the business thoroughly; later he worked in a restaurant in Fresno, where he has a number of relatives living. In 1910 he located in Merced County and for three years worked in the Merced Bakery, but in 1913 he removed to Turlock and was employed in the Home Bakery there for several years.
On May 1, 1915, Mr. Schultz was married to Miss Mildred E. Abbott, a daughter of William W. Abbott, whose sketch will be found elsewhere in this history. After going out of the bakery business, Mr. Schultz became agent for the Chalmers, Briscoe and Chevrolet automobiles in Turlock, continuing there until his removal to Livingston in 1918 .when he became a partner in the Abbott & Sons Garage. Mr. Schultz is a member of the Masonic Lodge No. 395 of Turlock.
FULGENZIO C. RUSCONI All praise is due men from foreign shores who have come to this country, and, by dint of unremitting industry and strict frugality, have built up a competence for themselves and their families, educating their children to be an asset to any community, and who uphold the principles and aims of their adopted land. Among these must be mentioned F. C.' Rusconi, of Merced County. He was born in Canton Ticino, Switzerland, on February 20, 1870. Coming to California when a young man, in 1883, he located for a time in Napa County, then went to the Santa Maria Valley, and there spent twenty-two years in the dairy business at Guadalupe, working early and late, the hardest kind of work, and making his work count for something, in that he saved the proceeds for future investment.
In 1917, Mr. Rusconi went to Sanger, Fresno County, where his brother, Louis, is an extensive land owner and pioneer raisin grower. He also owns the 400-acre Meadow Brook Ranch, two miles from Merced, in the Franklin District. In 1921, F. C. Rusconi moved onto the property and had charge of operations as general superintendent of the vineyard and alfalfa, carrying on development work on a large scale. The brothers, Louis and F. C., owned and were developing 800 acres on the Merced River, fifteen miles from Merced. In 1925, F. C. acquired the latter property known as the Barfield ranch; he is developing a large acreage to vineyards, the land being well adapted to raising grapes, and in doing so has added materially to the value of land in this section of California, for his work is a demonstration of what can be accomplished along horticultural lines when the right spirit is behind the enterprise.
The second marriage of Mr. Rusconi, which occurred April 29; 1905, at San Luis Obispo, united him with Miss Josephine Tognazzini, who was born in Melbourne, Australia, the daughter of Noah and Mary (Zanolli) Tognazzini, ranchers of that country. She came to California when two years old, with her parents. F. C. Rusconi's brother, Victor, is a successful dairyman of Napa County, and Philip is in Santa Maria, Cal.; and he has two sisters in California, also. Both of his parents are deceased. Mrs. Rusconi's father died at the age of sixty-three; her mother is still living, at Guadalupe, Cal. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Rusconi : Theodore, Christine, Wilfred, Lelola, Vivian, Eugene, and Irma, all natives of the Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County. By his first marriage he has a daughter, Mrs. Mamie Caroni, of Guadalupe. Fraternally, Mr. Rusconi is a member of San Luis Obispo Lodge No. 322, B. P. O. E., and in all ways he is a man of worth, ready to do his share in promoting the further progress of his county and state, and with unbounded faith in the future of the fruit industry and the opportunities offered land owners in Merced County.
JOHN W. LANDRAM A native-born son of California, and a worthy representative of an honored pioneer family of Merced County, John W. Landram has been actively identified with the development and advancement of Livingston since 1917, and now holds a position of prominence among the younger generation of practical and progressive business men. He is the manager of the Livingston branch of the Merced Lumber Company. He was born in Merced, Cal., August 17, 1891, a son of W. E. and Ida (Banks) Landram. The father, W. E. Lan-dram, formerly manager of the Merced Lumber Company, holds the position of vice-president of the Farmers & Merchants Bank.
John W. Landram completed the Merced Grammar School course and then entered the Merced Union High School where he remained for one year; then he took a business course at Heald's Business College in Oakland. After his graduation from business college he returned to Merced and became the stenographer and bookkeeper for the Merced Lumber Company and in 1917 came to Livingston as yard foreman, and in 1921 he was put in charge as manager.
On September 16, 1913, at Merced, Mr. Landram was married to Miss Irene Freeman, a daughter of the late J. D. Freeman, a farmer living south of Merced. Two children have blessed this union, Bernice and Doris. When the City of Livingston was incorporated in 1921, Mr. Landram was among the most active boosters and he is a director of the Livingston Merchants Association and a member of the Boosters' Club; he also belongs to the Hoo Hoo's and is a member of the San Joaquin Valley Lumberman's Club. Fraternally he is a member of Yosemite Lodge No. 99, F. & A. M. at Merced, and Merced Camp No. 352, W. 0. W. Mr. and Mrs. Landram belong to Merced Chapter No. 126, 0. E. S. in Merced and are members of the Central Presbyterian Church of Merced.
THOMAS B. MORTON The birth of Thomas B. Morton occurred in Ireland on June 30, 1862, and as a babe in arms he was brought to this country, and reared and educated in Akron, Ohio. From May, 1876, to 1882, he was a cowboy in Montana, rode the range and saw many stirring scenes in those early days, and was a member of the Law and Order League. Some of the old brands he worked under were Circle S, 7 Bar 7, T C P, and S & K. C. M. Russell, then known as "Kid Russell," now a resident of Pasadena, the famous painter of western scenes, wild cattle and horses and cowboys, was his partner and friend in his cowboy days in Montana. One of the first pictures he made was while he was a member of the S & K outfit, when he cut a piece of canvas from a tent and with charcoal drew a picture of cowboy life. This was sent to the S & K outfit and later used as a brand.
Mr. Morton recalls the hanging of a number of cattle thieves; the last to be strung up was Con Murphy, who was hanged near Helena, Montana. When he was a cowboy he wore his hair long and curly, the fashion those days for the men of the plains. Later, he was teaming and freighting to and from Helena from 1884 to 1891. In 1892 he came to San Francisco and worked for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, digging ditches at $1.75 for a day of twelve hours. In 1896 he went to Chicago and worked on a drainage canal. Returning to the Pacific Coast in 1897, he became superintendent of construction for the Great Northern Railway in Washington, in the building and excavating of the Cascade tunnel, which took three years to complete. The tunnel was three miles and 1785 feet long, the longest tunnel in the world at that time. One thousand men were employed at each end, and all records were broken in its construction. In 1900 he went to San Francisco and entered the employ of the California Construction Co., general contractors. He worked for them in various places, at tunnel construction in Kern County, in San Diego, and in Honolulu, deepening the harbor and building government coal docks.
Coming to Los Banos in 1907, Mr. Morton took up the automobile industry. The only car he owned before coming to Los Banos was a 1903 Reo. In 1912 he engaged in the garage business when there were only two autos in Los Banos. He sold the first Ford car on the West Side of the valley and had the only auto agency from Tracy to Fresno. He has sold the Reo, Studebaker and Haynes cars, and now has the agency of the Oakland. The first auto repair shop in the valley was under a spreading pine tree on the Pacheco Pass road, and was operated by Mace Roberts and Bill Knight; and with the aid of the subject of this sketch many a disabled car was repaired on that spot.
In 1911, Thomas B. Morton was married to Minnie Cavala, born on her father's ranch in Badger Flat, Merced County. Her father was a native of Italy and came to California in the early days. The old Cavala home ranch is still in the possession of the family. Mr. Morton is a member of Mountain Brow Lodge of Odd Fellows of Los Banos.
ELGIN EVANS No names are more worthy to record on the pages of history than the names of those who are producers of the means of subsistence. To that class belongs Elgin Evans who, for thirty-five years, was one of the largest grain producers of Stanislaus and Merced Counties. Strong, active, intelligent and public-spirited, it is to such men as he that California owes the development of her resources.
The fifth in a family of ten children, Elgin Evans was born in Mineral Point, Wis., on May 7, 1866. His father, John Ewell Evans, a native of Ohio, was one of the pioneer California gold miners. He returned to Wisconsin and married there Margaret Jane Davis, a native of Illinois. Her father, Ephraim Davis, a native of Wales, was a trapper who came to southern Wisconsin while Chief Black Hawk held sway. He crossed the plains and was a frontiersman in California. Grandfather and grandmother Evans were both born in Wales, and the former crossed the plains twice in the early days, but went back to Mineral Point, where he died in 1871, at the age of eighty-seven. His wife followed him at the age of eighty-three. Elgin Evans' father died when the son was six years old, and three years later his mother married J. H. Haskell. Then the family came via the Union and Central Pacific Railroads to California and settled first in Alameda County and in 1878 removed to Merced County. From that time on Elgin Evans farmed in Stanislaus and Merced Counties; the very first year he raised 30,000 sacks of grain, 23,000 of which were oats.
In 1890 Elgin Evans was married to Miss Wilhelmina Rosenquist, a native of Sweden, a dutiful wife and loyal helpmate who has borne her husband four children, as follows: Edwin Chester, who lives in Merced, married Miss Mercedes McNamara, a native of Merced County, and they have one child, Maryle Renett; Clara Ethyel became the wife of Frank Pelton Montgomery, has one child, Norine, and lives in Hollywood, Cal; Herby Elgin married Mamie Souza of Merced and has one son, 'Herby Elgin, Jr., and resides in Long Beach, Cal.; Gladys Elvira is a student in the Livingston High School. Fraternally, Mr. Evans is a member of the Masons, the Odd Fellows and the Elks lodges of Merced. In politics he is a progressive Republican. He is a Methodist, while Mrs. Evans adheres to the Lutheran faith in which she was reared. Mr. Evans quit grain farming in 1923, after he had raised 23,000 sacks of barley the previous year. He lost two harvesters and a caterpillar tractor by fire; and the price of farm machinery having increased while the price of grain had decreased, he thought it was a good time to retire.
FRITZ E. OLSON A thorough-going business man and the owner and proprietor of a paying grocery business in Livingston is, Fritz E. Olson, who started in business in 1913 in the Wilson Building, then located south of the railroad tracks; in 1923 Mr. Olson moved his stock into the Walter B. Ward building, which is centrally located, and the business is gradually increasing in volume each month. Mr. Olson was born in Sweden, March 11, 1887, and was a babe in arms when he accompanied his parents to the United States. The family located at Riley, Kan., where the father managed the large creamery interests for the Continental Creamery Company of Topeka, Kan.; later he established a separator and ice business in connection, which was his own private property. Six children were born in this family, but only three reached maturity: Fritz E. our subject; Ales H., a rancher at Livingston; and Arnold A. The father passed away in Kansas January 4, 1907, aged fifty-two years.
Fritz E. Olson was attending the Grand Island Normal College, where he was pursuing the commercial course when his father passed away; he left school and returned home to take charge of the creamery and ice business. In 1908 the business was sold and the family removed to Merced County, Cal., where they bought forty acres of land on the Cressey Road which is now within the city limits of Livingston. Mr. Olson and his brothers engaged in dairying and farming for the next five years, but our subject secured a position as bookkeeper and cashier with the Star Meat Company in Turlock, after his first year on the farm. He was next connected with the Fresno Republican until he started his present business in 1913.
At Livingston in 1910, Mr. Olson was married to Miss Hazel Grinstead, born in Kansas, a daughter of Newton P. Grinstead, who was well known in Livingston and who passed away in January, 1925, aged sixty-four. They have a son, Harold Olson. Mr. Olson ranks with the citizens to whom much credit is due for the influence they exert for the moral welfare of the community.
DAVID BENNETT Among the active and able officials of Livingston is David Bennett, city marshal of Livingston and constable of the Fifth township of Merced County ; he also acts as deputy sheriff under T. A. Mack. He is a fearless officer who performs his duties promptly, according to law, asking no favors and granting none. His birth occurred in Jackson County, Oregon, July 2, 1873. His father, G. W. Bennett, was born in New York State and came to Oregon and then to California, where he mined in Amador County, and where he was married the first time, by which union there was one daughter, who is now deceased. He later located at Cressey, which was renamed Livingston. His second marriage, at Snelling, united him with Miss Elizabeth Cheidester, daughter of David Cheidester, born in Virginia, from an early family. David Cheidester removed from Virginia to Iowa and from Iowa he crossed the plains to California in 1850 and became a farmer at Snelling. There were thirteen children born of this union, eleven of whom are now living: Dora, David, Daniel, Mabel, Susie, Myra, Sylvia, Wesley, George, Lizzie, and May. Two children died in infancy.
At the age of eighteen David Bennett left the family home and came to Livingston and at first worked on various farms throughout Merced County; then he leased land and farmed for fourteen years, when he purchased his present home place of ten acres just outside the city limits of Livingston, which is devoted to raising alfalfa.
On January 11, 1894, Mr. Bennett was married to Miss Amanda Willhoit, a daughter of Benjamin Willhoit, a farmer now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett are the parents of five children; Myrtle is the wife of B. F. Johnson residing in Yakima, Wash; Violet is the wife of R. G. Rhodes of Livingston; Elsie is now Mrs. C. L. Benoni residing at Tia Juana, Mexico; Floyd; and one boy is now deceased. Mr. Bennett is a Democrat in politics and at the regular election in 1922 was elected marshal of Livingston. Mrs. Bennett is a regular attendant at the Episcopal Mission Church in Livingston.
U. ORA ABELL A successful grower of figs in California, who is highly esteemed in the community of Merced, is U. Ora Abell, who first saw the light near Indianapolis, Ind., on March 11, 1868. He was the eldest of the five children born to Perry and Rebecca (Klepfer) Abell, who were born in Pennsylvania and Michigan respectively. Perry Abell settled in Indiana where he helped his father carve a home out of the forest and where he farmed until the Civil War broke out, when he enlisted in the 70th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, serving throughout the conflict. He moved to Nebraska in the eighties, homesteading land twenty miles from a railroad, and about 1890 he removed to Salt Lake City, where he lived for six years. In 1896 he located in Merced with his family and here he and his wife both spent their last days.
The common schools of Indiana and Nebraska afforded U. Ora Abell a good elementary education. Being a farmer's son he worked steadily on the home farm and in the meantime learned the carpenter trade, accomplishing a great deal as a journeyman, and later engaged in the building trade as a contractor. He accompanied his parents to California in 1896, where he continued to work at his trade. That same year he invested wisely by purchasing a tract of land on the Merced River, one and one-half miles below Merced Falls, where he began farming and made improvements. By 1900 he had a few fig trees, and as the years progressed, he set out many more, until the property became a valuable one. At present he is the owner of thirty acres of highly developed orchard set to Black Mission figs, the trees ranging from ten to twenty-five years of age. A newly completed residence 'fills the need for an orchard home.
On January 14, 1913, at Merced, Mr. Abell was united in marriage with Miss Nan R. Peak, who was born in Merced, the youngest of seven children. Her father was the late Luke Peak, a Forty-niner and pioneer of Contra Costa County. He had come from Jacksonville, Illinois, to California, and in the sixties he moved to Plainsburg, Merced County, where he was a well and favorably known farmer. Just prior to moving to Merced he owned and operated a grain farm adjoining the Atwater ranch. Mrs. Abell's mother came from Southern stock and was a member of the Hancock family who arrived in Contra Costa County in 1853. One daughter, Isabel May, has blessed the home of Mr. and Mrs. Abell, who are popular in Merced social circles. Mr. Abell is a baritone singer of ability, and has favored the public by appearing at many functions, giving his talent freely for general enjoyment. He was the director of the Merced Methodist Episcopal Church choir from 1912 to 1917. He has belonged to the Merced Lodge of Odd Fellows since 1899, and to the Modern Woodmen of America since 1903. His political views and efforts have been with the Democratic Party, but any movement for civic and community betterment has his hearty endorsement.
SAMUEL J. ANET A prosperous rancher of Merced County, who came here to the United States from his faraway home in Switzerland, when a boy of seventeen, and has made good in his chosen line of work, Mr. Anet, entirely unaided, has reached a position in life above the average, and can look back at his early struggles with pride in the fact that he surmounted all obstacles by hard work, unceasing thrift, and the combining of both with intelligent management. A native of Aigle, which is situated six miles east of beautiful Lake Geneva in Canton Vaud, Switzerland, he was the second of seven children born to Henry Vincent and Anna (Blanc) Anet, the former born in 1842, and died in 1917, and the latter born in 1843, and died October 30, 1908. There were seven children: Louis, Sam, Rosine, Fanny, Alice, Alfred and Benjamin. Both parents were of well established families in Switzerland, who had four centuries earlier fled from France during the persecution of people of their belief as French Huguenots, and took up their life again in Switzerland, where today their descendants have made beautiful the natural resources of the Rhone Valley, and there is where "Sam" Anet was reared. Of the well-to-do class, his father was a foremost authority on viticulture in his day, and owned and operated large vineyards.
Sam. Jr: attended the public and high school of his home place, receiving at the latter the benefit of thorough courses in literature. He worked on his father's property during harvest, a busy time, and also in the making of choice white wines from the small white wine grape, usually producing 800 gallons of liquid per acre. They also conducted a dairy, and were occupied in cheese and butter making. During the summer months, he went with the herders to the higher altitudes on the mountain slopes, returning in October. His brother, Louis, served twenty-five years as gendarme in Switzerland, but is now retired. Sam decided to come to the larger republic of the United States, and sailed, via Havre, on the Steamship La France, crossed the Atlantic, and arrived in New York May 27, 1883. He went direct to Knoxville, Tenn., to a countryman of his named Buffet, who owned large ranch property six miles out of that city. Saving all he could out of his earnings of $8.00 per month, after three years he made his way to Texas, where he earned $40.00 per month, working in the cotton 'fields. There he was stricken with fever, and was obliged to return to Knoxville. On regaining his health, he entered the employ of the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia railway, and after three years on the road as fireman, brakeman, etc., he entered the main shops of the company, 'where were employed 600 men, and worked at the bench.
In May, 1893, Mr. Anet moved with his family to California, located at Merced, and soon after went to work in the Grange Company's warehouse, then in charge of W. L. Turner. That fall he went into the flour mill of the Merced Milling Company, where for the next nine years he was foreman; it was while in charge of the mill that the name of just "Sam" was given him, an appellation which has remained his since that time; all knew Sam and Sam knew everyone-while in the mill.
In the meantime he invested his savings in land around Merced, and now owns some very desirable property. His first buy was eight acres of Southern Pacific railway land on the edge of south Merced, where now stands his home, rebuilt since 1908, when it was a fire loss. He has added thirty-four acres to the original acreage, and has fig and peach trees now bearing which are twenty-five years old. He also owns other residence property in Merced, and his unbounded faith in this district still grows, for he has never regretted his decision to settle in this fertile district. Twenty years ago he conducted a city retail milk route from his small dairy; the town has grown to three times its size since that date.
The marriage of Mr. Anet, which occurred December 31, 1889, at Knoxville, Tenn., united him with Miss Alice E. Hoffer, a native of Knoxville, and daughter of Rev. W. A. and Susan (Smith) Hoffer, descendants of old families of planters in the South. Before her marriage, Mrs. Anet taught in the high school for fifteen years. Three children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Anet : Henry L., born in Tennessee, served in the Ordinance Department during the World War as sergeant, and was absent about eighteen months from Merced; he married Miss Rosina Collins, of Hornitos, daughter of Supervisor Collins of Mariposa County. Eugene E., the second child, died at the age of five years; Ann Eleanor, now Mrs. Earl Kittrell of San Jose, has one son, Robert Sheldon.
Mr. Anet received
his citizenship papers at Merced, in 1901, and he has always taken
an active interest in public affairs and advancement; for the past
fifteen years, he has served as county roadmaster of district No. 2.
MRS. MARGARET C. CASSELL Among the women of Merced County who have taken an active part in the advancement of educational, civic and social life of their community mention is made of Mrs. Margaret C. Cassell, who came to California in 1912 to join her parents, who had preceded her in 1911. She is the daughter of the late Joseph William and Lucinda Rice, both natives of Kentucky. Margaret C. accompanied her parents from Paris, Ky., to Pueblo, Colo., where her father was a rancher until 1911, when they came to Winton, Cal. The daughter attended the Pueblo schools, graduating from the high school in 1909, after which she began teaching in that State. After one year there, she joined her parents in Merced County.
On January 28, 1915, Miss Rice was married to Clifford J. Cassell, born near Lake View, Mich., now a salesman in the Ford garage at Livingston. Mrs. Cassell has four children: Clifford Joseph, jr., Elinor Margaret, Helen June and Elizabeth Clay. Mrs. Cassell is an ex-president of the Woman's Improvement Club of Winton and is prominently connected with the Home Department of the Winton Center of the Merced County Farm Bureau. She assisted in the organization of the Parent-Teachers Association and is a positive force for the proper education of the youth of Winton and vicinity.
Mrs. Cassell was appointed by the board of trustees of the Winton Grammar School to fill a vacancy on the board in 1923, and at the election the following spring she was regularly elected for a three-year term, the two other members being H. M. Stutsman and W. C. Abbott. There are five well-qualified teachers in the Winton Grammar School, of which Miss Winifred Kennedy is the principal. Mrs. Cassell was the second incumbent in the Winton postoffice, serving from 1915 to 1918, and gave satisfaction to all patrons of the office. Politically she is a Democrat. With her mother, Mrs. Lucinda Rice, and Mr. Cassell, she is active in the Presbyterian Church at Winton, Mrs. Cassell being one of the Sunday School teachers, and active in the organization of the Sunday School. Mr. Cassell serves as one of the trustees and is the financial secretary. He is an Odd Fellow.
CHARLES PHILIP SMITH A worthy representative of the second generation of citizens of Merced County is found in Charles P. Smith, dairyman, and road overseer of the Fifth district on the West Side. A native of the county, he was born at Central Point, September 6, 1874, the fifth child of Samuel A. and Nancy (Dollarhide) Smith, one of the oldest families on the West Side in Merced County.
Samuel A. Smith was born near Rock Island, Ill., February 14, 1839. At the age of two he was taken by his parents to Winnebago County, Ill., where he attended public school. In 1856 his parents became pioneers of Fayette County, Iowa, and here he helped his father improve a homestead, remaining with him until 1862. That memorable year the young man took the long journey across the plains to California, hoping in this congenial climate to obtain a living from the soil. He looked over various parts of the State looking for a suitable location and spent his first year here in Yolo County, then he spent several seasons in Solano County and finally reached Merced County, locating on the West Side in October, 1868. He preempted 160 acres of land on section 23, the north line of his ranch being only one-half a mile from the present limits of Los Banos. To this he added 160 acres, and later thirty-six acres more, all of which he operated with good results. He gave each of his sons forty acres of the property, retaining 196 acres for his own use. He kept over 200 head of stock and raised alfalfa, made many permanent improvements on the ranch until it was all under irrigation and supplied with a substantial set of farm buildings. Here he continued successfully as a dairyman for many years, taking an active interest in all projects for the upbuilding of this part of the county, serving as a justice of the peace and taking an active interest in Democratic politics. He was a member of the first school board of the first district and helped to build the first school house on the West Side. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a chairman of the board of trustees. He had married in Iowa, in 1860, Nancy Dollarhide, who was born in Indiana, the daughter of John Dollar-hide, who had come to California in the pioneer days, settling on the Sacramento River. Mrs. Smith passed away in 1879, leaving seven children: Oscar E.; Jasper, of Soquel; Grant, now deceased; Frank, of Los Banos; Charles P. of Los Banos; Alice and Amanthus. Three children died prior to Mrs. Smith's decease.
The sons became successful ranchers of Merced County. Charles P. Smith attended the Los Banos School and remained at home with his father on the ranch, learning what he could of the methods of agriculture as carried on at that period. He embarked in the dairy business on part of the home acres and had 190 acres in alfalfa and 100 head of cattle. In 1908 he sold the dairy business and engaged in teaming at Richmond, Cal., and then purchased a dray business in Los Banos and carried on the business for three years, since which time he has operated fifty acres of the old home place. He is serving as the road overseer of the Fifth district of Merced County, besides doing a general farming.
Charles P. Smith and Fannie B. Brown were united in marriage in San Francisco, on October 24, 1915. She was born in Illinois, a daughter of William and Anna Christina (Hauk) Brown, and was in the railway postal service. In 1908 she came to California. They have one son, Charles P. Jr. Mr. Smith is a Democrat. He belongs to the Odd Fellows of Los Banos.
J. W. RIGGINS Located three miles east of Merced on Bear Creek is the twentyfour-acre fruit and almond ranch owned by J. W. Riggins, who purchased the land in 1908 and since that date has been developing the property, and since 1921 has lived on it. A native of Tennessee, he was born in Normandy, Bedford County, on April 26, 1867, a son of the late W. L. Riggins, a railroad man. During the Civil War he had charge of building bridges. He died in 1873, after which his widow married M. P. Huffman. She died in Tennessee in 1907 at the age of seventy-seven years.
J. W. Riggins attended the schools in the South and at an early age began to learn telegraphy at Estel Springs, Tenn., on the N. C. & St. L. Ry. He has worked in many places since mastering the key, among which are Coahoma, Miss., for fifteen months as an operator; eighteen months at Dundee, Miss., as operator and station agent and one year at Lake Cormorant. In 1901 he went to work for the St. L. I. M. & S., as relief man; later went to Varner, Ark., where a Captain Rice owned the town and county seat, there being two courthouses in the county where court was held alternately. In the spring of 1902 he went to Michigan in the employ of the Wabash Railway; in December of that year he went to Kansas and was working for the M. K. & T. Railway at Bayard at the time of the strike of the Order of Railway Telegraphers in 1904. Mr. Riggins left the railroad service to take up picket work for the Railroad Telegraphers at Parsons, Kans., and was one of the ten members of the initial board under H. B. Perham, president of the Railroad Telegraphers Union of America, serving from 1904 to 1908. In 1907 he went to the Pacific Coast from Salt Lake. Incidentally he visited Merced County that same year and made some investments in property, but continued with his organization work over the western roads. He has worked in every state of the Union except Idaho, Oregon and Washington in the interests of the railroad telegraphers. He quit in 1909 and entered the employ of the Yosemite Valley Railroad as its agent at Merced Falls, continuing active until 1921, when he left the railroad employ to give his entire time and attention to his ranch interests.
Mr. Riggins is a member of Hornitos Lodge No. 98, F. & A. M., in which he is a Past Master; he is a Past Grand of Willow Lodge No. 121, I. 0. 0. F., in Snelling; a member and Past Chief Patriarch of Snelling Encampment No. 86, I. O. O. F.; and Past District Deputy Grand Patriarch of the 49th District of California; he is also a member of the Navarro Lodge of Rebekahs at Snelling and of the Eastern Star Chapter in Merced. Mr. Riggins is very much interested in irrigation movements and was secretary of the committee of the Crocker-Huffman Contract Holders Association, whose affairs were settled amicably, so that it is now a part of the Merced Irrigation District.
A. A. HARRINGTON Among the recent accessions of the business life of Livingston is A. A. Harrington, the junior partner of the firm of Lentz & Harrington; the senior partner, C. H. Lentz, has charge of the electrical supply store in Modesto, while Mr. Harrington operates the Livingston Telephone Company and conducts the electrical supply store at Livingston. The firm also takes care of electrical contracts throughout Merced County. Mr. Harrington was born at Paxton, Nebr. on May 30, 1888, a son of the late Norman L. and Nettie (Hargis) Harrington, natives of Missouri and Iowa, respectively. The father, Norman L. Harrington, was a railroad man connected with the signal service of the Western Pacific Railway and made his home in Stockton, Cal.; he passed away at the family home there in 1922, aged sixty-two years. The mother is still living. There are five sons in the family of children, of whom our subject is the third. A. A. Harrington attended public school until he was fourteen years old, then he went to work for the Pacific Telephone Company at Stockton and within two years time he was advanced to a good position with this company.
At Merced, Cal., Mr. Harrington was married to Miss Blanche Wells, a daughter of George Wells, a rancher living at Dos Palos. In March, 1921, Mr. Harrington removed to Livingston and at that time purchased from G. H. Winton and William T. White the Livingston Telephone system, which Mr. Harrington has since operated with increasing success. In the management of the Livingston Electrical Supply Store, Mr. Harrington is using thorough business methods that insure permanent success in every undertaking.
E. M. STODDARD The late E. M. Stoddard, of Merced County, was a man of education and much native ability, inherited, no doubt, from his Scotch ancestors, who settled in America about 1800, when the progenitor located in New York State, where the descendants of that Stoddard have made names for themselves in their various lines of endeavor. A nephew of our subject, Charles Stoddard, was the publisher of Munsey's Magazine. E. M. Stoddard was born in Delhi, N. Y., on March 6, 1831, and was the youngest of the twelve children in his parents' family. He grew to manhood in New York State, where his father was a landowner in Delaware County.
E. M. Stoddard received a good education in the schools of his day, and remained a resident of New York until 1872, when he came to Merced County and embarked in the dairy business; and it is worthy of note that the dairy he established is still in existence. He took an active part in the development of the new city of Merced and was a stockholder in the first newspaper published in the town. He was active also in Republican politics, though not an aspirant for office. He served as a school trustee for several years and was interested in elevating the educational standard of the schools of his time; for he realized the value of good schools, which he knew were necessary for the coming generations to prepare them for their life work. He was right-of-way man for the Central Pacific Railroad and did much to bring the steam line, now the Southern Pacific, through this part of the San Joaquin Valley. A good mixer, he made and retained loyal friends.
On November 22, 1857, E. M. Stoddard was united in marriage with Cynthia M. Benton, who was born on March 22, 1832, at Canajoharie, N. Y.; and she gave birth to the following children: Dower K., of Merced; Mrs. J. H. Simonson, of Merced; Clara M., of Merced; W. H., of Berkeley; Mrs. Nellie Outcalt, deceased; H. B., of Merced; and Mrs. R. L. King, also of Merced. Mrs. Stoddard came to Merced County in 1855 and was a teacher in the public school at Tuttletown, near Sonora, Cal. She died in Merced at the age of eighty years. E. M. Stoddard passed away in 1909. He was a Mason and a Knight Templar, and was a charter member of the Yosemite Lodge of the Knights of Pythias. He, had been brought up in the Scotch Presbyterian Church and was a consistent Christian.
DOWER KEITH STODDARD Perhaps the best-known man in California, in stage transportation circles in the early days of the Yosemtie Valley travel out from Merced, is Dower Keith Stoddard, of that city. A son of the late E. M. Stoddard, who is mentioned on another page in this history, he was born on a dairy and stock ranch in Calaveras County, on September 29, 1858. His schooling was obtained in public and private schools in Calaveras, Merced and San Joaquin Counties; and when he was sixteen years old his parents moved to Merced County, where his father engaged in the dairy and stock business with success. Our subject was interested with his father from the time they located here in Merced County, and he grew up in the handling of stock and running a dairy. He owns the original ranch purchased by his father, two miles from Merced, and is still conducting a dairy business there.
In 1886, Mr. Stoddard bought the McClanathan livery and stage business from the administrators of the estate of Mr. McClanathan and at once entered into the development of an enterprise that was destined to yield a good profit and at the same time build up a reputation for himself, not alone in the confines of California, but even at the national capital at Washington, D. C., where it is of record in the Postoffice Department that the stages run by D. K. Stoddard never varied a minute in arriving in Merced with the United States mail for a period of eleven months. It was always 11:15 a.m., rain or shine, and the experienced drivers he employed considered their honor was in question if any one spoke of their being late. So marked was the regularity in the local postmaster's reports, that the government authorities in the nation's capital could not credit their accuracy until they had sent out several inspectors, who, however, always reported the time as 11:15 a. m., as per schedule. Along with the mail contract, and the most particular part of the business, Mr. Stoddard made a specialty of carrying passengers to and from Yosemite Valley ; and during the years from 1886 to 1911, the Stoddard stages were known far and wide and handled without accident tens of thousands of passengers going to and from Yosemite Valley. One year he handled 20,000 tourists. Since 1911, Mr. Stoddard has been looking after his dairy interests, though residing in Merced.
On March 10, 1886, D. K. Stoddard was united in marriage with Miss Mary Comins, a native of Maine, where she grew up. She was educated in Boston and later came out to California. The following children have been born of this union: Mildred, who married G. H. Winton and resides in Livingston; Minette (a twin of Mildred), who is at home ; Jean, who married Roscoe Roduner and lives in Merced; and Dower Kenneth, the youngest, who is an employe of the Merced Irrigation District. There are five grandchildren to brighten the homes of the Stoddards.
Mr. Stoddard has been a stanch Republican all his life and cast his first vote in the city of Merced, and has never voted elsewhere. He served as a city trustee for several terms. He is a charter member of Yosemite Parlor No. 24, N. S. G. W., in which he is a Past President and takes an active interest; and he has a wide acquaintance throughout the State through his restoration work for the Native Sons. He has been a member of the Knights of Pythias since 1882, and has been Grand Trustee of the State of California in that order. If Mr. Stoddard has a hobby, it is in preserving historic records and landmarks and relics of early days in California, in order that the coming generations may have visible evidence suited to inculcate in their minds a veneration for the pioneers who have been responsible for the firm foundation of a commonwealth where they and their posterity can live in peace and happiness.
FRANCISCO S. GARCIA America has been justly called the "Melting pot of all Nations." People flock to this country from all parts of the world and in a few years, usually not later than the second generation, they are no longer foreigners, but Americans, loyal to the tenets of the country of their adoption and many of them rated among the substantial and successful citizens. A fair example of the above is shown in the record made by Francisco S. Garcia, who was born in the Azores Islands, on October 31, 1885, and came to America at the age of ten, landing at Newport, R. I., where he attended school and grew up until he was twenty-five years old. He then joined his brother, A. C. Garcia, and they came to California in 1910. As soon as he had become acquainted with the country he rented land and engaged in the dairy business for four years, after which time he came to Los Banos and started another dairy, also on 186 acres of leased land. He prospered and soon was able to invest in land of his own, and he is still a land owner, leasing his property to tenants who are in the dairy business. Mr. Garcia was one of the first dairymen to pay the sum of $1000 for a high grade bull for his Holstein herd. He began with sixty cows and when he sold out his herd had increased to 200 head.
In 1918 Mr. Garcia helped organize the Portuguese Bank in Los Banos and was its vice-president, eventually being elected its president, continuing his connection with the bank until it was sold to the Portuguese American Bank of San Francisco, in 1921, when he retired from the banking business and now devotes his time to the real estate and insurance business and is meeting with well-deserved success.
Mr. Garcia was united in marriage with Miss Anna Gomez, also born in the Azores, and they have four children: David, Minnie, Francisco and Mary. Mr. Garcia is a member of the I. D. E. S. Society and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, of Los Banos, and of the Knights of Columbus, of Merced.
HARVEY A. BAKER A progressive business man and an able official is found in Harvey A. Baker, who conducts a real estate office in Livingston and serves as judge of the city recorder's court; he was appointed to this position by the mayor, C. A. Ottman, and the city board of trustees in April, 1923. From the time of his appointment in April until October, he tried fifty-nine cases and collected $909 in fines. Mr. Baker, assisted by his wife and daughter, have charge of the stage depot; the line is known as the California Transit Co. and connects with Sacramento, Stockton, Merced, Fresno and Los Angeles and intermediate points with hourly departures. He was born at Danville, Ind., November 20, 1881. His father, G. W. Baker, was for many years a successful farmer and real estate broker at Eureka, Cal.; he married Miss Lucretia H. Jones, born in Indiana, who can trace her family history back to Sir Isaac Newton; her maternal grandmother, Lydia H. Jones has reached the age of ninety-nine years and is living at Craig, Nebr. Three sons were born of this union: H. J. is a real estate broker in Livingston; H. M. resides in Berkeley, and Harvey A. is the subject of this sketch. Both parents are still living.
While still a small child, Harvey A. Baker accompanied his parents, in a prairie schooner, to Nebraska and he grew up and was educated at Beatrice. His father was a traveling salesman for a school supply house and made his home at Beatrice. During the panic of 1893, Mr. Baker resided in Omaha, Nebr.; from there he removed to Deadwood, S. D. and in 1898 enlisted for service in the Spanish-American War, but was discharged on account of disability. In 1901 he removed to Denver, Colo., and was for ten years in the employ of the street car company; he resided in Denver until 1918 and during that time made frequent trips to California to visit his family, who had located at Eureka, where the father was engaged in the real estate business. Mr. Baker permanently located at Livingston in 1920, and became a salesman for his brother H. J. Baker, who is engaged in the real estate business. Later Mr. Baker established his own real estate office.
At Denver, Colo., in 1903, H. A. Baker was married to Miss Bertha Damon, born in Missouri, a daughter of the late John Damon, a Civil War veteran who died from the effects of a wound received during the war. Her mother is making her home with our subject at Livingston. Two daughters have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Baker; Elsie is the wife of Maynard Pierce, a rancher living near Delhi, Cal.; and Lucetta G. married Eldridge C. Swan, traffic officer at Livingston. Mr. Baker belongs to Denver Lodge No. 41, K. of P. in Denver.
LEO HEID As far as lies in the power of any one individual, Leo Heid has illustrated in his life the control of circumstances and the manifest advantages that await the industrious and enterprising men which have characterized for generations the race from which he springs. Born in Bavaria, Germany, September 26, 1881, he was left an orphan at the age of seven years and was brought up by, his uncle. His parents, Paul and Margaret Heid, had both passed away by 1888. The Lutheran minister assisted him through the parochial school until the age of twelve, but from that time on he has made his own way in the world, first by working in a planing mill and serving an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade for three years. It was a work to which he naturally gravitated for his father had operated a planing mill, as well as a farm. At fifteen years of age he worked as a journeyman carpenter, but in common with all of his countrymen he had to serve in the army and he didn't get free until 1909, when he struck out for the "Land of the free and the home of the brave."
Landing in Fresno, Cal. he found employment at once in a planing mill; later he took up carpentering and bought a twenty-acre ranch in Fresno County. It was a good investment for in two years he sold it at a good profit. In 1920 he investigated Livingston and, as it appeared to be a good proposition, he bought twenty acres. He continued his trade and as contractor and builder has erected a number of bungalows, including the Methodist parsonage. Many other buildings in Livingston are to be credited to his industry among which may be mentioned the residences of A. A. Harrington, Mrs. Ottman, Frank Emerich, L. Prusso, Forest E. Hammond, and John J. Hoch, besides several garages and other buildings, including the Lutheran Church and Dr. C. E. Saunders' office building. Mr. Heid was made a citizen of the United States in 1917 and is a Republican in politics. In many ways he has proved a valuable citizen of Livingston, contributing to its growth, fostering its enterprises and promoting its welfare.
ADOLPH SWENSEN Among the dairymen and farmers of the Livingston section of Merced County is Adolph Swensen, proprietor of the Greenacre Dairy located a mile southwest of the city in precinct No. 2. He owns sixty acres, twenty acres devoted to his dairy, twenty-five acres in bearing Malaga grapes, and twelve acres in alfalfa. When Mr. Swensen purchased this tract of land in 1910, it was known as "blow land"; here the wind blew unobstructed and the sand drifted, but by the application of water it has been turned into vineyards, orchards and alfalfa fields. At the Pacific Slope Dairy Show held in Oakland, Cal. in November, 1923, Mr. Swensen made an almost perfect showing; his milk scored 95.5 out of a possible 100; on the item of bacteria, for which a perfect score was 35, Mr. Swensen's milk scored 35; other perfect scores by Mr. Swensen were butter fat, 15 points; and temperature and acidity, 5 points. He lost points on bottle and cap or otherwise would have had a perfect score. He runs fourteen cows on his dairy farm.
Mr. Swensen was born at Skane, Sweden, on April 18, 1873, a son of Peter and Anna Swensen, both natives of the same country. There were six children in the family, two sons and four daughters, our subject being the second in order of birth and the only one living in America. Peter Swensen was a farmer and a creamery man and is now deceased; the mother is still living in Sweden, aged seventy-six.
Adolph Swensen left the parental roof when only fifteen years old, and landing in Quebec, Canada, came directly to the United States, settling at St. Paul, Minn., where he found work in a store. He was ambitious to learn the language and manners of the Americans, and he attended night school, and also had private instruction in English. At Hallock, Minn., he learned the trade of harness and saddle-maker. While residing in Kittson County he was appointed a deputy sheriff. In 1902 he removed to Washington and worked at Spokane, Seattle and Tacoma as a journeyman saddler, and was also engaged as a salesman. In 1909 he arrived in Merced, where he was employed as a traveling salesman for Barcroft & Company, hardware dealers; in the meantime he purchased his present farm and began to improve it and in 1917 moved onto it, where he has since made his home.
At Modesto, Mr. Swensen was married to Miss Pearl Turner, born and reared in Merced, the daughter W. H. and Marian (Mc-Swain) Turner, early pioneers of California. Two children, Marian Catherine and Virginia June, have blessed the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Swensen. Mr. Swensen is a member of the local Farm Bureau and takes a good citizen's part in the advancement of his section.
JOSEPH LOUIS PERRY A well-known dairy farmer in the Livingston section of Merced County is Joseph Louis Perry, who owns one of the best appointed dairies of forty-six acres to be found in this section. He was born on the Island of Tuchido, of the Azores group, on April 14, 1876, a son of J. L. Perry, a soap maker who had married Emila Augusta Dutra, and they had three children; Joseph Louis; Samuel S., still in the Azores; and Emila Augusta, also at home. The father died in 1880 at the age of forty-three years. Mrs. Perry passed away in February, 1923, aged sixty-six, at her old home.
Joseph L. Perry, our subject, learned the blacksmith's trade in his native country and when he was twenty-five he came to America and California, arriving in San Francisco in October, 1901. He went to Sausalito and the next day after his arrival secured a job in a blacksmith shop, continuing there for a year. He then went to Oakland and bought out a restaurant, which he later disposed of and went to work for wages as a cook; he was cook and general employer for the Oakland Y. M. C. A. for nearly two years. On account of ill health Mr. Perry had to seek outside work and he came to Livingston and bought his ranch and has been active in its development ever since. His improvements are all of the best and have been put there by himself or under his direction. He has a bungalow house surrounded by a fine lawn and shade trees and shrubbery, and has a family orchard, a large dairy and cow-barn, milking sheds and the various yards and sheds needed on an up-to-date dairy farm. He has two good wells sufficient for his domestic needs and for his stock, an eighty-ton silo, tanks, troughs etc., all of which show the master mind who directed the laying-out and building of the home place. In his herd he has a registered Holstein bull, and also young stock.
Joseph L. Perry was married in San Francisco in 1910, to Mrs. Maria Lewis, widow of Frank Lewis, of Gloucester, Mass., and daughter of Martinho Costa, born on the Island of Pico, where he was a farmer and where his daughter was also born. She came to America when a young girl and was married in Massachusetts to Mr. Lewis, by whom she had three children: Frank E.; Marie, wife of Frank Golart of Livingston; and Henry, at home. Mr. Perry is a member of the U. P. E. C. Society.
REV. SOREN EMANUEL SORENSEN Among the ministers of the Gospel in Merced County, none is more widely known or more successful in his chosen calling than Rev. Soren Emanuel Sorensen, who is serving as pastor to the newly established congregations of the Lutheran faith at Waterford, Stevinson and other places and by the sterling traits which distinguish his character has won the esteem of all with whom he comes in contact. He was born in Norway, on December 1, 1849, a son of Soren Torinessen Gjerdal and Elisabeth Katerina Sorensen, born in Minnesota. When Rev. Sorensen came to the United States he settled in Minneapolis, Minn., and there studied theology at the Augsburg Theological Seminary; later he was duly ordained as a minister in the United Norwegian Lutheran Church and held several important pastorates before coming to California in 1903.
Rev. and Mrs. Sorensen are the parents of ten children, all born in Minnesota: Elizabeth, Mrs. L. F. Peterson; Camille, Mrs. Floyd Stevinson and the mother of Anita, Deta Dell, James, Samuel, and Soren Sorensen; Soren C., who married Ida Ness and is the father of three children, Loren, Soren C., Jr., and Floydine ; Hulda, Mrs. E. H. Williams and the mother of Mercedes, Luther Wallace and Elmer H., Jr.; Luther, who married Maude Fox and has three children, Bernice, Georgia and Luella Maude ; Joseph, who married Gertrude Pedrotte; Tonnis Oscar, who married Theresa Pollick and has two children, Garland and Margaret; Emma, wife of Harry Cochran and mother of Anna May, Dorothy and Elizabeth; Martin, proprietor of Sorensen and Co., in Livingston; Anna, who married Lars Mattson and has two children, William and Betty Ann. Reverend Sorensen, with the help of his sons, has developed a fine ranch in Merced County, consisting of forty acres located about ten miles west of Livingston, where he makes his home.
JOHN BAISA The success of the San Joaquin Concrete Pipe Company at Chowchilla is due in no small part to the energy and expert direction of John Baisa, who is one-third owner of three factories, at Chowchilla, Livingston and Herndon. A more detailed account of the company is given in another place in this book; suffice to say here that it has a capacity of a mile a day of excellent pipe for irrigating, drainage and sewerage which endures the celebrated "Hi-Test."
Mr. Baisa is of
Spanish-Mexican blood and was born in Texas in 1887, and he came to
California in 1901. His parents, Catarins and Remigia Baisa, reside
in Livingston and he lives with them as he is still unmarried. He
began very early to work for this company and has been with it
continuously up to the present and has become a highly efficient
expert in laying concrete pipe. He personally attends to the outside
work and has from four to twelve men under him. Politically he
supports the men and measures of the Republican Party.
ROBERT L. PUCCINELLI The position of assistant cashier of the Los Banos branch of the Bank of Italy is held by Robert L. Puccinelli through his ability to accurately carry out the policies of the financial institution he so ably serves and by the ability he displays in handling the many problems that confront a man in his responsible position. A native of the Golden State, he is a 100 per cent American although born of foreign parents. His parents, Edidio and Nancy (Del Carlo) Puccinelli, were both born and reared in Italy and the former came to California about thirty-five years ago and engaged in raising beans on the islands in the Sacramento River near the capital city; later he was engaged in ranching in the Italian Swiss Colony near Campbell, Santa Clara County, but is now residing in Los Banos.
Robert was educated in the schools of San Jose, spending two years in the high school there, after which he took a course in Heald's Business College in that city. Thereafter he entered the employ of De Bernardi, Inc., wholesale importers in San Francisco. Coming to Los Banos, he entered the Bank of Los Banos and worked his way through the various departments until he became the assistant cashier. When the Bank of Italy took over the bank he was made assistant cashier in 1921, the position he now holds to the eminent satisfaction of all who know him.
Mr. Puccinelli was married to Mary Padula, born in Los Banos, and they have two children, Eunice and Florine. He belongs to Merced Parlor No. 24, N. S. G. W.; the Knights of Columbus ; and Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. 0. E., all of Merced; and to the Fraternal Order of Eagles, of Los Banos. He is a firm believer in the old adage that "Nothing succeeds like success" and is living up to the tenets of the Golden Rule in his everyday life.
JOSEPH MARCHY Merced County has become known far and wide as a prosperous dairy district, and among the men who recognized this fact and took advantage of it, may be mentioned Joseph Marchy, a rancher and dairyman of this section. In a comparatively short space of time he has demonstrated both his ability, and the suitability of Merced lands for dairy and ranch purposes, and the fact that a newcomer need only use his brain and brawn to become successful. Born on January 6, 188'6, at Brunnen, Canton Schwitz, Switzerland, he was the youngest of five children in the family of Joachim and Anne (Boggenstor) Marchy, both natives of,Brunnen, where the father was a well-known landscape gardener.
Young Joseph attended the common schools of his native canton, and on reaching twenty years of age, left home for the United States, making the journey via Havre, on the Steamship St. Paul, and arriving in New York November 7, 1906; November 14, that year, he reached San Francisco. The party he came with was made up of some thirty of his countrymen, and the day after his arrival, he commenced work in San Francisco. Soon after, he joined the Cement Workers Union, and during the rebuilding days of the city he made good money, and saved it, investing in the real estate which he now owns in the Mission district of the city. Two seasons were occupied in the logging camps of Mendocino County.
January 26, 1916, Mr. Marchy came to Merced County, and took a one-third interest in the Three Joe Dairy and Cheese Factory, near Plainsburg. This partnership was dissolved in 1919, and Mr. Marchy has gone forward with his share of the land; he has a string of Holstein dairy cows, and with one helper, conducts his business in a modern and up to date manner. In addition to his dairy, he is developing a part of his acreage to fruit, and has set out vineyard and orchard, now in the third year of growth. A progressive man,
Mr. Marchy received
his United States citizenship papers at San Francisco in 1912, and
he is fully interested in the further advancement of his adopted
land. His only relatives in America are two nieces, living at
Stockton and San Francisco, respectively.
JOSEPH WIGET An interesting and well traveled life has been the portion of Joseph Wiget, and he has settled in California with the full knowledge that here can be found real opportunity and advancement. A native of Canton Schwitz, Switzerland, his birth occurred February 16, 1883, the youngest of thirteen children born to his parents, Martin and Frances (Rickenbacher ) Wiget, both born, reared and lived their entire life in their native land. Martin Wiget served in the National Army as bugler, and he was on the frontier in 1870 and 1871, during the Franco-German War, while in civil life he was hotel and stable owner at Brunnen, on the Lake of Four Cantons. An expert coachman, he handled a vast amount of the tourist trade, as this was in the famous resort district of Switzerland, and he knew the roads thoroughly, especially to Berne and Geneva, over which he drove hundreds of times with his guests, among whom were often the crowned heads of Europe, and other famous people. He led the town band at Canton Schwitz, and was one of the popular and leading figures in the community. His death occurred in 1895, while his good wife passed to her reward in 1889.
Joseph attended the public and night schools, and during his upbringing was in constant association with the cultured people who stopped at this father's hotel, among whom he was a general favorite. He remained at home until after the death of his parents, when, the happy home life being broken up, he left, and went to Canton Lucerne, entered the trade of tinsmith as an apprentice in a shop there, and after three years spent in learning, for which he paid tuition fee of 460 francs, he went to work at the trade, his first wage being six dollars per week. He then went out into Continental Europe and worked steadily as a journeyman at his trade in the meantime spending parts of each year in the home land; and it was while on one of these visits that his marriage occurred.
The young couple decided to seek their fortune in a new land, and left home May 9, 1907, coming to the United States via Bremen, on the S. S. Kaiser Wilhelm, six and one-half days crossing the Atlantic. On landing, they came direct to San Francisco, and in that city Mr. Wiget followed his trade at the Union Iron Works. After the fire, following the earthquake of 1906, the rebuilding of the metropolis made good times for wage earners, and the young newcomer was just in time to take full advantage of the opportunities thus offered. Also, with his wife, he diligently pursued the study of English at night. In 1912, they went to Florida, only to return after six weeks with the full determination to always remain in California. For a period of seven years following their return, Mr. Wiget worked in the Homestead Bakery. Impaired health, due to inside work in close quarters, made him decide to go into ranch work, and he was made foreman on the Aftergood Ranch, situated six miles south of Marysville, Yuba County.
In 1916, Mr. Wiget made his first investment in California lands. Coming to Merced County, he became one-third owner in the Three Joe Dairy and Cheese Factory, near Plainsburg; the three countrymen acquired the old Welch ranch and conducted the business until 1919, when the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Wiget retaining the old home place, and forty-eight acres of land. He is improving this property with the view of making it his home, and besides his livestock and dairy, he is developing an apricot orchard and a Thompson Seedless vineyard.
July 14, 1906, occurred the marriage uniting Joseph Wiget and Miss Anna Stadelmann; she was born at Attigny, France, on October 17, 1885, the youngest of eleven children, born to Xavier and Anna (Egli) Stadelmann, bath natives of Switzerland, who returned to their home canton of Basel in 1889, and conducted a genuine Swiss dairy in the mountains. In Basel Mrs. Wiget was reared and educated. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Wiget: Anna, born in Switzerland, January 2, 1908, who was brought to California by her aunt, in 1910; she is now a well advanced pupil, class '25, of the Le Grand High School; and Martin, born at Merced, July 25, 1919. Mr. Wiget became a United States citizen in San Francisco, March 14, 1916. He has a military record as a member of the National Army of Switzerland, 1903-06, and he also served as secretary of the Rifle Club of 200 members. Fraternally, he belongs to the Foresters of America, Sausalito Lodge No. 150. The family attend the Presbyterian Church.
FRANK R. RODRIGUES A successful dairyman of Merced County, with property embracing eighty acres located three miles west of Merced, on the Los Banos road, Frank R. Rodrigues is a native of Fayal, the Azores Islands, born on September 8, 1873, the son of Joseph and Ignacia (Goularte) Rodrigues, both natives of that place, where the father was a carpenter and farmer. He died at the age of ninety years; the mother was a remarkable woman, and reached her seventy-five years of life hale and hearty, to meet a sudden death.
Frank R. had three sisters and three brothers, and being one of the oldest, he had a very limited opportunity for schooling, as he had to go to work to help support the growing family. At the age of eighteen, he left home to come to America, "land of hope and promise," and worked for wages at Newport, R. I., four years ; later working in New Bedford, Mass., in a dairy for two years. Here he learned much to help him in the new environment, and bettered his financial condition by working in a foundry for fifteen years.
In 1913, Mr. Rodrigues came west to the Golden State, and after first working out, at Los Banos, he soon got started in a small dairy at Lemoore, Kings County. Two years later he left the ranch to work for the Standard Oil Co. at Richmond, and then he moved to Tracy, returning to Merced County in 1915, and reentering the dairy business at Snelling, where he leased a ranch. In 1918 he bought his present ranch, where he has, by dint of hard work and thrift, built up a model dairy, with a herd of thirty-five head of fine cattle.
The marriage of Mr. Rodrigues, August 24, 1896, united him with Miss Reta Mattoso, also a native of Fayal, and daughter of Frank and Delphina Mattoso, well-to-do farmers of the Azores. Five children have come to Mr. and Mrs. Rodrigues: Antone, who is married and lives on the ranch ; Frank ; Joseph ; Manuel ; and John. Mr. Rodrigues received his citizenship papers at Providence, R. I., and he is a Democrat in political adherence, with a due regard for the principles and aims of his adopted country. Fraternally, he is a member of the U. P. E. C., of Los Banos.
F. F. PALMERLEE The ability to solve problems in finance has been demonstrated by F. F. Palmerlee, cashier of the Bank of Los Banos since 1921. This position has not come to him through favoritism, but by well-earned and faithful experience. A native of Washington, he was born at Spangle, on November 6, 1885, and he received his education in the grammar and high schools in Corning, Tehama County, Cal., finishing in the business colleges in Santa Rosa and Long Beach. With this training he secured a position as stenographer with the San Pedro Lumber Company in Long Beach for one year. Then he entered the First National Bank of Long Beach and started to learn the banking business from the ground up—and with what success is demonstrated by his subsequent positions and advancements through the various channels in banking. His next important step was from the First National Bank into the Citizens Savings Bank of Long Beach; then until 1907 he was with the Calexico State Bank. For one year he was a special auditor for Imperial County, and he was cashier of the Imperial Bank of Brawley a year. In 1909, with W. T. Dunn, Mr. Palmerlee organized the First National Bank of Brawley and was its cashier until January 1, 1918, when he became agent for the Buick Automobiles in Brawley. Eighteen months later he sold out and went to Texas to engage in the oil business at Dallas, where he remained until in March, 1921, when he was offered and accepted the position of cashier of the Bank of Los Banos, at Los Banos, Cal., and he has since held this responsible post to the satisfaction of all concerned.
Mr. Palmerlee is a public spirited citizen and enters heartily into all movements for the upbuilding of his adopted city. Fraternally, he is a member of Mountain Brow Lodge No. 82, I. O. O. F.
CLYDE A. MAKIN The manager of the large lumber yards, mill and office of the Miller and Lux lumber interests in Los Banos is ably filled by Clyde A. Makin, who was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, on January 15, 1891. His parents, George and Sarah (Headley) Makin, were both natives of that state and came. to Dos Palos, Merced County, Cal., in 1908, where the father carries on a dairy ranch. He was active in the political life of Wood County, W. Va., serving as a member of the board of supervisors and as secretary of the county board of education. He and his wife had seven children: Clyde A., Harold, George, Clarence, Gail, Lillian and Myrtle.
Clyde A. Makin attended the public schools in his native city and finished in the Dos Palos school and the Fresno Business College. For the next two years he worked in the oil fields in Coalinga and also assisted his father on the home ranch near Dos Palos. His next employment was with the Kings County Packing Company at Hanford. In 1917 he entered the employ of Miller and Lux in their lumber yard at Dos Palos and he soon rose to be assistant manager, then manager. In June, 1923, he was sent to Los Banos, the headquarters of the company, as manager and he is surely making good. The Miller and Lux Lumber Yard and Planing Mill occupies a space covering three blocks and employs thirty men in its different departments, all under the supervision of Mr. Makin. Thus it will be seen that his is a position of no mean responsibility.
Mr. Makin was united in marriage in December, 1922, with Miss Marie Brown, of Los Angeles, but born in Illinois. She was a teacher in the Dos Palos schools at the time of their marriage and is now dean of the girls of the Dos Palos High School. Mr. Makin belongs to Mountain Brow Lodge No. 82, I. 0. 0. F. and to the Los Banos Aerie of Eagles. He is a booster for Merced County.
HERMAN PAUL JUENEMAN Among the numerous dairy herds in Merced County the one owned by Herman Paul Jueneman is counted among the best; his ranch of forty-six acres in Madison precinct supports thirty head of registered Holstein dairy stock. He also owns 186 acres of choice island land west of Stockton in Contra Costa County. He was born at Nienburg, Province of Saxony, Germany, October 24, 1874, and at nine years of age accompanied his parents, Christopher and Sophia (Biermort) Jueneman, to America. They landed at New York May 6, 1883, and proceeded immediately to Iowa, where the father worked at his trade of stone mason for three and a half years; they then removed to Dakota, then a territory, and were there for eleven months, when they removed to Washington territory, and settled at Puyallup, where a small tract of land was purchased and the father and our subject engaged in truck gardening. There are two children in this family, our subject and Anna, now Mrs. John Irmer residing in Sonoma County, Cal.
At nineteen years of age Herman Paul Jueneman began working in the sawmills at Puyallup and Cosmopolis, on the Chehalis River, and was thus occupied until he decided to return East to the state of Maryland. The first Sunday spent in Maryland he became acquainted with Miss Eva Reiter, a native of Austria-Hungary, and on March 1, 1899, they were married. The same day they left for New York and for the following seven months resided on a farm near Steamburg; then they removed to Wisconsin, where Mr. Jueneman worked in a sawmill for one year; then they went to Michigan and for six years raised peppermint in Van Buren County. Returning to the West, Mr. Jueneman located at Campbell, Santa Clara County, where he became the owner of a forty-acre prune orchard; later he traded this for his present dairy ranch of forty-six acres in Merced County. Mr. and Mrs. Jueneman are the parents of ten children: Anna Christine is the wife of Reuben David Fessler ; Helena Carrie is the wife of Marvin McConnell and they have one child, Oliver Morris; Herman Paul, Jr., assists his father on the home place; Carl John, deceased; Eva, deceased; Minnie Frieda Eva; Emma Geneva; Ellwood Ralph; Walter Abraham Raymond; and William Arthur Earl. Mr. and Mrs. Jueneman are active members of the Lutheran Church at Livingston. In politics Mr. Jueneman is a Republican.
MRS. ELIZABETH LEE OLDS A native of Merced County, born below Livingston, on the Merced River, Mrs. Elizabeth Lee Olds is the seventh daughter and child of the pioneer couple, William G. and Ann Eliza ( Jackson) Collier. The late William G. Collier is recognized as the "Father of Irrigation in California," and is mentioned at length on another page of this history. Mrs. Ann Eliza Collier is a direct descendant of former President Andrew Jackson. Mrs. Olds grew to maturity in Merced County, attending the public schools, and also received instruction from her father, who was a graduate of Columbia University and an able educator. On January 20, 1884, she was united in marriage with Edward Jerome Olds.
Edward Jerome Olds was born in Ingham County, Mich., in September, 1848, a son of Rev. Arice Olds, a Presbyterian minister. The mother was in maidenhood E. Louisa Gallup. The Olds family is represented by a long line of college professors, lawyers and ministers. The Gallups were prominent in financial circles for generations in New York State and Michigan. Edward J. Olds came to California in 1866, via Panama, in company with his brother-in-law, Dr. Samuel Blackwood. Some time after arriving in this State, Mr. Olds purchased land in Merced County and was the first settler in Livingston, where he erected the first hotel and store building. With the Cresseys, he was among the pioneer grain-growers in the Livingston section; and in time he became well-to-do.
Of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Olds six children were born. Calvin J. is a mechanic and lives in San Francisco. Danton E. is engaged in scientific dairying at San Mateo. He served in the hospital corps at Camp Lewis during the World War. Roscoe C. attended the University of Nevada, receiving special honors in geology. He became a writer of note and was a member of the Writers' Club of Seattle, Wash. He was called the "Kipling of the West." When war was declared he entered the 316th Engineers, became a corporal, went over seas, and fell in the last battle of the war, in the Argonne forest. Beatrice D. attended the University of California and became a dramatic reader of note and an esthetic dancer. She lives in San Francisco. Isabel E. attended Miss Head's School in Berkeley, specializing in music, both piano and voice. She makes her home with her aunt, Mrs. Harriet C. Whitworth, near Newman. Claude M. is in the employ of the P. G. & E. in Modesto. While a student in the Berkeley High School he received high honors for his poetry. He studied dentistry at the Affiliated Dental College in San Francisco, but never practiced the profession. At the age of twenty he married Miss Edith Coffey of Stockton.
Mrs. Olds has been a frequent contributor to newspapers and other periodicals. Something like one hundred poems from her pen have been published from time to time. The professor of literature at the University of Utah was attracted by their beauty, collected them, and had them typewritten preparatory to publishing in a bound volume. For several years she was a political editor on the staff of the Merced Sun. She was for many years an active worker for the principles which are embodied in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Amendments and delivered the first speech ever made in the San Joaquin Valley on woman's suffrage. Personally she is a strong advocate of prohibition. She is fond of out-of-door life, and her hobby has beep the study of botany and ornithology.
Since the death of Mr. Olds, in December, 1913, at Berkeley, Mrs. Olds has been an invalid. She has lived at the Claremont Hotel in Oakland, and at various sanitariums, and has been a very patient sufferer. Her fondest recollections are of her many friends and acquaintances in Merced County.
M. M. FINLAYSON A building contractor who has had a varied experience in his field of endeavor on the Pacific Coast is M. M. Finlayson of Los Banos, California. A native of New Zealand, he was born on January 5, 1878, and reared on a farm up to the age of twelve. Since then he has traveled extensively, going to the South Sea Islands and through Canada. Mr. Finlayson began working at his trade in Gore, New Zealand, continuing for five years in heavy construction and on business blocks. Going to Vancouver, with a force of sixty men he remodeled a number of business blocks and constructed five new ones. Coming to San Francisco in the fall of 1906 he helped to rebuild that city after the great fire and earthquake. His first work there was on the second brick building in Chinatown ; he built a sixty-room hotel on Howard Street; worked on the Ferry building and remodeled the front of it; did work on Yerba Buena Island, and erected a hospital at Fort Berry for the U. S. government; built a number of school buildings for the City of San Francisco, also a number of fire houses; and two churches. During the World War he built several cantonments, having 300 men under his supervision at the Presidio in San Francisco. Going to Aberdeen, Wash., he was engaged in the work of building twenty-two wooden vessels of 4000 tons each, laying the keels, sterns etc. Returning to San Francisco he worked in the shipyards for the Government, making steel masts and spars.
Completing his work in the bay metropolis, Mr. Finlayson came to Los Banos on October 2, 1919, and soon became associated with Frank Burke in the contracting and building business; after the death of Mr. Burke, he carried on the business alone and in Los Banos he erected the Odd Fellows Block, city water works building, three units of the Los Banos High School, Sischo's garage, West Side Hotel, Guyer Hotel, Oberon Hotel, Bank of Los Banos three-story building, many of the fine bungalows seen in and about Los Banos and on the West Side, as well as a number of homes and dairy barns and buildings. He has drawn plans for many of his buildings, having had a wide and varied experience in the building line.
Mr. Finlayson married Sybil Maclean, a native of Michigan, and daughter of Dr. Daniel Maclean, dean of the California Medical College in San Francisco, and they have a son, Thomas Gray Finlayson. Mr. Finlayson is a graduate of the Armour Architectural Institute of Chicago; and is a Mason, belonging to Los Banos Lodge No. 312, F. & A. M.
ROBERT L. A. THOMAS A country which has given to California a large number of inhabitants, perhaps more than any other foreign country, is Portugal and its dependencies. They have come from the Azores and the mainland, and are temperate and thrifty; and soon they become most substantial and loyal Americans. Of that class may be mentioned Manuel P. and Mary (Peters) Thomas, both natives of Portugal, who came to this State in the early days and engaged in sheep farming; Manuel eventually started a number of small hotels in the San Joaquin Valley, which were headquarters for his countrymen. Nine children were born to this worthy couple of whom six have gone with their father to that bourne from which no traveler returns. The three living are Robert L. A.; Mrs. T. Solis; and John P. of Merced.
Robert L. A. Thomas was educated in the grammar and high school of Merced and in a correspondence school in law. His practical experience began as teller in the Security Bank of Atwater; from that he passed into the general merchandise business in Los Banos and next into the First National Bank of Los Banos, where he was assistant cashier for eight years. His standing as a citizen was recognized in his election as a trustee of the city of Los Banos for a term of four years beginning 1920. He is at present in the collecting and accounting business and is an income tax consultant.
His family consists of his wife, who was Lillian Puccinelli before marriage, and two children, Robert A. and Eileen Marie.
PETER A. CATSEFTAS Among the later additions to Merced's business circles must be mentioned Peter A. Catseftas, who, together with his partner, James Moskos, is making a success of the Valley Lunch Counter at No. 537 Sixteenth Street. Mr. Catseftas came to Merced from San Francisco in 1923 and at an outlay of $4200 thoroughly remodeled his place; and despite the competition of live restaurateurs on either side, the Valley Lunch Counter is constantly forging to the front as a sanitary and up-to-date eating house. It is largely patronized by the traveling public. A commodious dining room with its snow-white linen gives ample accommodations to ladies and children and tourist parties, while the long lunch counter facing the grill is largely patronized by clerks and business men, farmers and laborers. Prices are very moderate and its numerous patrons get the advantage of excellent cooking, Mr. Catseftas' experience in the culinary art extending over a period of almost a third of a century.
Peter A. Catseftas was born at Sparta, Greece, on September 17, 1869, a son of H. Aristides Catseftas. His parents are poor but honorable Greek working people, who are still living in their native land, having attained the remarkable ages of 102 and 99 years, respectively. Our subject grew up in Greece, where he attended the Greek schools and was reared in the Greek Orthodox Church. At the age of fourteen he began to work in a silk factory and together with his good wife continued in that work as long as they lived in Greece. He was married at an age of nineteen to Sophia Arneotes, who was born near Sparta and began working in the silk mill when a little girl of eleven years of age. She is thoroughly conversant with silk weaving and has made some of the finest dress goods that ever came from Greek looms.
Fired with an ambition to see the New World and to better his condition, Mr. Catseftas left his wife and family in his native country and came to San Francisco, in 1895. He immediately entered business for himself, becoming proprietor of the Gust Restaurant at No. 29 Ninth Street, between Mission and Market Streets. Fortunately he sold this place a short time before the great earthquake and fire and for a few months ran a restaurant in the outskirts of the city and thus escaped the great fire. In 1907 he made a seven-months trip to Europe, making a five-months visit to his old home, and on returning to San Francisco brought his wife and two children with him. Sad' to relate, however, his oldest child, a promising young man of sixteen, died a month after reaching California.
Mr. Catseftas was best known as the proprietor of the Cosmopolitan Restaurant in San Francisco, which he ran for sixteen years until he came to Merced and opened up his present place. He believes in "live and let live" and American standards of living at that. Mr. and Mrs. Catseftas have a comfortable home in Merced, where both are highly respected as industrious and enterprising citizens. They have become parents of four children, namely : Florodia, who died in Greece ; Louis, who died in San Francisco ; Ernest A., who was born in Greece and is now in the Merced Union High School; and Catherine, born in San Francisco, and now in the grammar school.
In entire sympathy with American institutions and in thorough accord with the business life at Merced, Mr. and Mrs. Catseftas and family are cordially welcomed. They are at present, as a side issue, engaged in raising silk-worms in Merced for the production of raw silk and Mr. Catseftas is very optimistic in the belief that the silk-industry will, before long, become of commercial importance in Merced County.
JOSEPH GAVAZZA As part owner and one of the proprietors of the Winton Mercantile Company, of Winton, Merced County, J. Gavazza has already become a well-known figure in commercial circles in Merced County. He was born at Villa San Secondo d'Asti, Italy, on December 23, 1892, the son of Valentino and Angela Gavazza, farmer folk in that country. The father was a lieutenant in the Italian Army for fourteen years and fought in the Italian-Austrian wars from 1858 to 1859, also in the war of 1870 when Italy became free from foreign domination and gained its national unity and independence. The parents are both deceased. They had two children: Claudine, wife of Arri Jefferino, of Oakland; and Joseph, our subject.
Joseph attended the public schools of his native land, completing the fifth grade, and can read and write Italian as well as English. Bidding good-bye to his home and family he joined his sister and her husband for California, coming direct to Oakland, arriving March 13, 1910. He was then seventeen years old. He began working on ranches, mostly in market gardens in Santa Clara County for two years, then going back to Oakland he worked as an apprentice moulder for six months, then took up carpenter work, making boxes for moulds, etc., following the moulder's business until 1921, when he came down into Merced County and began raising tomatoes on Bear Creek, continuing one year. The following year he went to Livingston and engaged in peach growing and market gardening for the season of 1922. That year he began working for the Pregno Mercantile Company at Atwater, and after six months was transferred to the Winton branch and became a partner in both stores. On July 1, 1924, with his partner, H. Dessiaume, he bought out the Winton store, stock and fixtures, changed the name of the company to the Winton Mercantile Company and they are continuing the business along broader lines than carried on under the former name.
Mr. Gavazza was married at Merced in 1923, to Miss Ruby Frances Logan, daughter of Henry Logan, a rancher at Winton. Mr. Gavazza was naturalized in Oakland in 1916 and registers as a Republican. He has purchased a comfortable home, the George Fast residence, in Winton.
ALFRED R. NEVES The splendid new store in Atwater, the Atwater Mercantile Company, which has a general line of merchandise and which employs two clerks, is owned by Alfred Neves. How it was acquired is something worth relating. It was at Pico, on a distant Isle of the Azores, that the proprietor was born on October 9, 1880, the fifth in a family of ten children. His parents were Jospeh and Mary (Perpetua) Neves, both natives of the same place. The father died there at the age of fifty-four. The mother came to California and spent her declining years at Livingston, passing away in 1916, aged sixty-four.
Alfred attended the common school in Pico, and learned agriculture on his father's farm. When his brothers, Manuel, Joseph and Antone, came to America, he was naturally interested in the glowing letters they wrote of the wonderful prospects in the Great Golden West. So when he had saved up enough money for traveling expenses he followed his brothers hither in 1903. He took the first job that offered, that as a farm hand on the Bloss Ranch, and with the exception of two years spent at Sugar Pine, in the Fresno hills, he has lived in Merced County. He raised stock and cultivated sweet potatoes near Atwater up to 1912. That year he opened a small store 30 feet by 25 feet on the site of his present store at Broadway and Fourth. In 1916 he succeeded to the Pregno-Souza Mercantile Company on Front Street, and changed the name to the Atwater Mercantile Company, and carried on the business for seven years in that location. In the meantime he made investments and erected the present building, 45x115 feet, in 1922, which would do credit to a city five times the size of Atwater, and removed his stock to the new location. , Mr. Neves received his United States citizenship in Judge Rector's court in Merced and, as a Republican, has fulfilled the duties of an American citizen. In August, 1922, he was elected city trustee of Atwater on the incorporation of the town.
In February, 1912, A. R. Neves was united in marriage with Mary Leal, born at Angra, in the Azores, the daughter of Frank Leal, a mechanic of St. George. Her uncle, Antone Leal, was an early settler in California. The children of the union are Harry and Guida. Mr. Neves is a very enterprising business man and what he has achieved thus far in life has been through the exercise of his frugality and honest industry. He was one of the organizers of the Atwater Pentacost Club and is ex-secretary of the I. D. E. S., and secretary of the U. P. E. C. societies ; and is the banker of the Atwater Camp of the Woodmen of the World.
HENRI DESSIAUME The life of Henri Dessiaume presents an example of industry and worthiness creditable alike to his native country and to the country of his adoption. He is the senior partner in the Winton Mercantile Company at Winton, successors to the Winton branch of the Pregno Mercantile Company. The firm employs the same systematic methods that characterized the work of the former concern and are assured of continued success. Henri Dessiaume was born at Bourges, France, on January 13, 1888, a son of John and Helen (Pigeit) Dessiaume, vineyardists who spent their entire lives in the land of their birth.
Henri Dessiaume received a thorough education in the schools of France, Germany, Belgium and England; he can read, write and speak French, English, German and Spanish and can read Latin and understands the Japanese language. Mr. Dessiaume became a steward in some of the leading restaurants and hotels in England, being thus engaged in the city of Liverpool and other large cities; in 1906 he went to Japan, where he spent two years as assistant manager for the Metropole and the Imperial hotels. In 1908 he came to America and directly to Victoria, B. C., where he was steward of the Empress Hotel, owned and conducted by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Later he removed to San Francisco and was steward at the St. Francis Hotel; also for a year and a half he was steward at Hotel Oakland, in Oakland, Cal.
In 1914 Henri Dessiaume was married in San Francisco. In 1916 he located at Winton and was placed in charge of the Pregno Mercantile Company, which carries a full line of staple and fancy groceries, dry goods, clothing, hardware, farming implements, etc., and handles meat and provisions. Under the direction of Dessiaume and Gavazza, the firm is doing a thriving business. On July 1, 1924, the present establishment was taken over by H. Dessiaume and J. Gavazza, who continue the business under the name of the Winton Mercantile Company.
FRED R. FERGUSON A public-spirited man whose principles have determined his progress in the business world is Fred R. Ferguson, the capable assistant manager of the Yosemite Lumber Company, at Merced Falls. He was born at Toronto, in Ontario, Canada, March 20, 1875, the eldest of four children born to Andrew T. and Amelia ( Reynolds) Ferguson, who were also born in Ontario of Scotch and English families. The father was widely known as Rev. A. T. Ferguson, and was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He moved with his family to Michigan in 1884, and following the ministry in that state became the assistant superintendent of the Michigan State M. E. Conference, passing away while in office. His wife passed away two years previous to his death, in that state.
Fred R. Ferguson was graduated with the Class of 1894 at Albion College, and soon identified himself with the teaching profession by teaching school at Manistee, Michigan. In 1900 he went west to Arizona, and locating at Williams, he entered the employ of the Saginaw-Manistee Lumber Company in the clerk's office, and soon became one of their superintendents, remaining with this enterprising firm for seventeen and one-half years. The following three years he was superintendent of the Charles Ruggles Company, manufacturers and lumber dealers, in Amador County, California. In June, 1922, he accepted the position of assistant manager to H. R. Lowell, of the Yosemite Lumber Company, at Merced Falls, where he is superintendent of the shipping and sales. The shipments of this company in 1922 totaled seventy-five million feet, with a handsome increase during 1923, and preparations to store and handle still greater amounts of lumber are rapidly being made at the Yosemite yards in Merced Falls.
The marriage of Mr. Ferguson occurred at Williams, Ariz., in 1906, when he was united with Mable H. Adams, daughter of H. F. Adams, ex-pioneer lumberman of Arizona and Michigan, now living retired at Pomona, Cal. Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson have two daughters, Florence and Lauretta, who are both being educated in the best possible way. Mr. Ferguson's brother, Prof. W. A. Ferguson, is principal of the Porterville High School, and his sister, Miss L. M. Ferguson, is vice-principal of the Sacramento High School. Thus the members of this family have contributed liberally to the educational progress of our Golden State.
The activities of Mr. Ferguson in public and political life have been characterized by efficiency and sagacity, and while at Williams, Ariz., he was deputy sheriff for two terms. For eight years he was an active member of the Arizona State Republican Committee, when Thomas Campbell, Arizona's first Republican governor, was elected, and for his efforts in the campaign Mr. Ferguson was highly commended by those who knew the conditions and principles involved. He is active in fraternal life, being a valued member, of the B. P. 0. Elks, No. 499, at Flagstaff, Ariz., and the Masons in Hornitos Lodge No. 98, F. & A. M.
BENJAMIN H. BUSH, M. D. The city of Los Banos is to be congratulated on having the services of so accomplished and experienced a physician and surgeon as Benjamin Howard Bush, M.D. Though born in Nebraska, he came to California at such an early age that he has grown up with the progressive California spirit. He was born in Broken Bow, on July 11, 1884, and he was brought to California at the age of six years, and educated in the Santa Cruz public schools, after which he entered Cooper Medical College in San Francisco, graduating with the Class of 1911 as an M.D. His first field for practice was in Santa Cruz, where he also served as city health officer. When the United States was drawn into the World War, Dr. Bush enlisted in the U. S. Navy, was commissioned a lieutenant and served on a flotilla of destroyers as medical officer. Later he had shore duty in the Panama Canal zone for seventeen months, and was five months in the hospital at the Mare Island Navy Yard in California. Coming to Los Banos in 1919 he began the practice of medicine and established a private hospital in company with Dr. C. E. Stagner, of Gustine. The success he has made and the position he holds are a practical recognition of his skill and efficiency in his calling.
Dr. Bush married on June 20, 1920, Miss Margaret Hugus of Wyoming, and they have a son, Dean Howard. Dr. Bush belongs to the Merced County Medical Society, the State Medical Society, and the American Medical Association. He is serving as city health officer of Los Banos. His good fellowship is betokened by his membership in Santa Cruz Lodge No. 38, F. & A. M., and in Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. O. E. He is also a member of the American Legion of Los Banos.
REUBEN DAVID FESSLER Though a comparatively recent accession to the business ranks of Cressey, Merced County, Reuben David Fessler is thoroughly satisfied to make this part of California his permanent home. Since 1919 he has been associated with his brother-in-law, L. H. Moyer, in the general merchandise business at Cressey, a prosperous town on the Santa Fe Railroad. This, firm is enjoying a lucrative business throughout this section of the county. Reuben David Fessler was born on his father's farm near Middleworth, Snyder County, Pa., April 21, 1895, a son of Franklin Pierce and Lovina ( Benfer) Fessler, both natives of Union County, Pa., but of -German-Swiss ancestors. Of the eleven children born of this union, nine are now living, namely: Sally is the wife of 0. B. Sanders, a farmer at Beavertown, Pa.; Lettie is the wife of L. H. Moyer, whose sketch may be found in this history; Libbie is the wife of Merle Sanders, a farmer in North Dakota ; Harry resides in Santa Rosa, Cal.; Lena is the wife of W. A. Brubaker, a draughtsman, and they reside at Akron, Ohio ; Maud lives in Akron, Ohio; Reuben David is the subject of this review; Edna is the wife of W. E. Norr and they reside in Cleveland, Ohio ; Franklin Pierce, Jr., is a tiremaker living at Akron, Ohio. Two children died at the ages of twenty-one and fifteen, respectively. The mother is still living and makes her home at Centerville, Pa. The father died in 1924, aged seventy-four.
Reuben David Fessler received a public school education and grew to young manhood on his father's farm of 105 acres in Snyder County, Pa. When he reached the age of eighteen he went to North Dakota where, for fourteen years, he was associated with his brother in farming pursuits. In 1915 he came to California and in 1917 enlisted in Company L, 363rd Infantry; he was sent to France and served in the St. Mihiel, Argonne and Flanders campaigns; on September 27, 1918, he was wounded by a machine gun missile. He returned to the United States and received his honorable discharge at the Presidio, San Francisco, April 26, 1919 ; he then made a visit to his parents in Pennsylvania of a few months and upon his return to California became a partner with L. H. Moyer as before stated. Mr. Fessler acts as assistant postmaster of Cressey.
At Cressey, Cal., August 10, 1919, Mr. Fessler was married to Miss Anna Christine Jueneman, the eldest daughter of Herman Paul and Eva (Reiter) Jueneman, natives of Saxony, Germany and Austria-Hungary, respectively. Her father, Herman Paul Jueneman, lives on a farm of sixty-seven acres near Cressey, and also owns 186 acres on the islands west of Stockton, Cal. There are eight living children in this family, namely: Anna, the wife of our subject; Helena, the wife of Marvin McConnell, a farmer of Livingston, Cal.; and Herman, Minnie, Emma, Ellwood, Walter, and Willie. Mr. and Mrs. Fessler are the parents of two children: Eva Lovina and Francis Franklin. Mr. Fessler was brought up in the English Lutheran Church; fraternally, he is affiliated with the Turlock Lodge No. 395, F. & A. M.
RINALDO M. MIANO One of the best and most fully equipped schools in Merced County, or in any town of equal size in all of California, is the Los Banos Grammar School. The children are brought in busses, within a radius of eight miles; there are fifteen teachers, and a student body of 475. The building has an auditorium with a seating capacity of 500; a Kindergarten department; and a nurse in attendance for the whole school.
The district superintendent of the elementary schools of Los Banos, Rinaldo M. Miano, was born in Tombstone, Ariz., on April 29, 1892, a son of John B. and Christina (Desimone) Miano, the latter born in Columbia, Cal., daughter of a pioneer gold seeker who eventually settled in Santa Clara County, Here in San Jose, J. B. Miano married, and then went to Tombstone, Ariz., where he was a pioneer miner and cattleman. He died in San Jose in 1906. Mrs. Miano makes her home with her children. Rinaldo M. was educated in the Tombstone schools, and then took a year in the New Mexico Military Institute, three years in the San Jose High School, and a teacher's course of three years in the San Jose Teachers' College. His college work finished, he taught two years in the school at Wheatland, Yuba County, and three years in Los Banos High School. For the past four years he has been district superintendent of the Los Banos elementary schools, and has made a very fine record in educational circles in California.
In 1915 Rinaldo M. Miano married Thelma Ostrom, a native of Wheatland, and they have two children, Phyllis and Melvin. Mr. Miano is a member of Los Banos Lodge No. 312, F. & A. M., and Merced Pyramid of Sciots No. 14. He belongs to the volunteer fire department of Los Banos.
PETER KUTULAN The proprietor of the Highway Grill at 543 Sixteenth Street, Merced, is an example of what a young man of energy and ability can attain to in California, and especially in the city of Merced, where he has become a freeholder, owning several lots and houses, as well as a thoroughly-equipped and up-to-date restaurant. No less remarkable is the success of his brother Steve, who is also a freeholder and the proprietor of the Kutulan Shoe Shop at 519 Seventeenth Street. These two brothers left their home in Greece, in order to seek their fortunes in California, arriving in San Francisco in December, 1907. They are two of the seven children born to James and Christine Kutulan, farmers in Greece. Both parents and all of the children are still living and prospering. The subject's brothers and sisters are : John, a restaurateur in San Francisco ; Steve, who was born in Greece on January 24, 1886, was married in San Francisco in 1922 to Miss Caliope Giona-Copoulou, by whom he has one child, Christina, and resides at their home, 620 Twenty-third Street, Merced; Gus, foreman of the McDonald Manufacturing Company in San Francisco; Peter, the subject of this review; Frank and Oliver, farmers and ex-soldiers of Greece ; and Petra, the youngest of the family, and only sister, who is still under the parental roof.
Arriving in San Francisco when a lad of sixteen, Peter Kutulan worked and studied and applied himself to such work as his hands could find to do and attended day and night public schools whenever he could, to obtain a knowledge of the English language; and this helped him to get better positions. For five years he was in the employ of the McDonald Manufacturing Company in the manufacture of fruit baskets, during which time he rose to be the foreman; he was also with Angelo and Son for five years; and later with the Western Baskets & Barrels Company, being employed in this line of work for a period of thirteen years altogether. In 1910 he made a six months' trip back to his old home in Greece.
In 1913, at San Francisco, Peter Kutulan was married to Miss Ella Boyce, born in San Francisco of English parentage, and they have one son, Christ, and reside in their home at 740 Nineteenth Street, Merced. In March, 1921, Peter Kutulan came to Merced and started a shoe-shine and repair establishment at No. 519 Seventeenth Street, which he sold to his brother, Steve, who has conducted it ever since. On August 1, 1923, Peter Kutulan bought the business of the Highway Restaurant at 543 Sixteenth Street and has refitted it and made of it one of the popular restaurants in Merced. He has added soft drinks and improved its cuisine and dining room, and has an up-to-date lunch counter. His dining-room is spotlessly clean and caters to family and tourist trade. He has also provided sanitary wash and rest-rooms for men and women.
Brought up in the Greek Orthodox Church, Mr. Kutulan received the advantages of strict moral and religious training and continues faithful to the teachings of that church. He was naturalized in San Francisco and while he usually registers as a Democrat, in local matters he votes for the best man. He is of an inventive turn of mind and is the inventor of Kutulan's Automatic Fire Alarm System, which was tried out by Fire Chief Thomas Murphy in San Francisco, who pronounced it a success. It has also been endorsed by George Robinson, Chief Engineer for the Pacific Coast Fire Underwriters, and is duly protected by a patent procured in 1919.
LOUIS H. KNUDSEN As far as lies in the power of any one individual, Louis Knudsen has illustrated by his own life the sterling character of the race from which he sprung, and through his own unaided efforts has been able to rise above adverse circumstances to a position of honor among men. A native of Denmark, he was born in the Island of Oro, April 9, 1881. Growing up on his father's farm he attended the public schools and was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church. His parents, Knud and Anna Maria (Albertson) Knudsen, lived and died in their native land. Louis H. learned dairy farming in Denmark and learned it well, but the chances for advancement in the old country were not good enough to satisfy the aspirations of an energetic young man ; therefore he turned his eyes westward and, embarking at Esbijo, Denmark, crossed the Atlantic and landed on Ellis Island, N. Y., November 19, 1909. As soon as he could get by the custom officers he made for Los Banos, California, where he arrived April 4, 1910. He worked out by the month for one year.
In 1910 Louis H. Knudsen married Miss Agnes Madsen, and they started out in life on a rented farm. By 1916 he had got enough ahead to invest in twenty acres of land which he bought of the Crocker-Huffman Company in the Merced Colony No. 3. He moved there with his family, and cousins of his wife, and ran a dairy. His wife was taken with a cancer and for four years was a patient sufferer. Thinking it would do her good he took a trip back to Denmark with her and his daughter, to visit her parents, Louis and Maria Madsen, returning to America the same year. Mrs. Knudsen passed away in April, 1923. Mr. Knudsen was naturalized in Merced in 1920, and votes for what he considers correct principles and the best man.
JOHN JOHNSON Sterling personal characteristics accompanied by exceptional skill in repairing automobiles have been the key to success of the garage conducted by John Johnson in Irwin. Being a strong, active, able and intelligent young man of strict integrity and an expert machinist, he is able to provide all the needs of an automobile, from repairing and all the accessories to oil and gas.
A son of Olof and Marie Johnson, he was born near central Sweden, August 24, 1886: Olof Johnson was employed by the Ovre Ulerud Railway and is living retired on a pension, aged sixty-four. His mother had three children: Eugene, a commercial traveler of Stockholm, Sweden; John; and the third child was Hannah Marie, who is still single in Sweden. She miraculously escaped death in a railway accident in which her mother was killed, John then being four or five years old. The father married again and the boy was brought up by his stepmother and was educated in the public and church schools and confirmed in the Lutheran Church. In 1909 he came to America and, arriving in Fort Wayne, Ind., he obtained work as a machinist.
The son John sailed for the United States on the White Star line from Gottenburg, in August, 1909. Passing through England from Hull to Liverpool he embarked again and arrived at Ellis Island, N. Y., in the latter part of August of the same year. He worked three years in the railway shops of the Wabash Railway in Fort Wayne, Ind., and from there he went to Oakland, Cal., in September, 1912. After working around in several automobile shops he engaged with the Scandinavian Gas Engine Works, builders of the celebrated Scandinavian Marine Engines. At the same time he attended the night school provided by the Y. M. C. A. course in mechanical engineering and became a member of the Y. M. C. A. of Oakland, Cal. He could not speak English when he first arrived in America, but he acquired the language by self study.
John Johnson was
married in Oakland to Miss Clara Larson, a native of Minnesota, and
they came to Irwin in 1917. They have two children, Stanford and
Florence. Mrs. Johnson is a daughter of Fred and Christina Larson,
who own forty acres in Hilmar. They had five children, Alice,
Arthur, Clara, Carl and Anna. Mrs. Larson died in the spring of
1924. When the Johnson’s first came here in 1917 they farmed for
three years, but in 1920 Mr. Johnson came to Irwin and bought his
garage which he has run successfully ever since. They are both
members of the Swedish Evangelical Mission Church in Hilmar, and
live in Irwin in the Hilmar Colony. Mr. Johnson has no choice as to
political parties, but votes for principle and men of principle.
FRED PEDRONE Mention should be made of Fred Pedrone, partner with Giacomo Triglia in the Oberon Hotel. He is a successful young man and was born in Volta, Merced County, on. November 19, 1894. His father was born in Italy and was an early settler of Volta district, where he had one of the first general stores. Fred was educated in the Sacred Heart Convent in San Francisco and worked in his father's store at Volta and later in the grocery department of the store operated by Miller and Lux in Los Banos. In 1916 he was taken into partnership with Mr. Triglia and has since been identified with him in his hotel enterprise.
married Miss Della Bibby, a member of an old family of Los Banos,
and they have a daughter, June. He belongs to the Fraternal Order of
Eagles of Los Banos.
LUTHER HENRY MOYER A worthy representative of that class of enterprising citizens who have made the prosperity of California a possibility is Luther Henry Moyer of the firm of Moyer and Fessler, who conduct a successful general merchandise business at Cressey which was established in 1914. He was born at Troxelville, Snyder County, Pa., on October 13, 1882, a son of John Y. Henry and Sarah Jane (Klose) Moyer, both natives of the same state, but of different counties, the former born in Snyder County and the latter in Union County. Five children were born of this union, three sons and two daughters, all of whom reside in Pennsylvania, with the exception of our subject. The Moyer family came originally from Holland and settled in Pennsylvania in an early day; both parents are still living in the Keystone State.
Luther Henry Moyer was educated in the public schools of Snyder County, Pa., was reared on his father's farm, and at twenty years of age started out for himself. He came to California and for fourteen years worked at the carpenter's trade in various places, including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Clovis, Cressey, Corcoran, Visalia and Hanford. He located in Cressey in 1914 and on October 13 established his present business, which has steadily grown to its present proportions. On March 2, 1915, Mr. Moyer was appointed postmaster at Cressey and has served continuously and acceptably to the present time.
At Clovis, Cal., on June 2, 1908, Mr. Moyer was married to Miss Lettie Naomi Fessler, daughter of Franklin Pierce and Lovina (Benfer ) Fessler, both natives of Pennsylvania and both deceased, the father dying at the age of seventy-two and the mother at seventy. Mr. Moyer was brought up in the English Lutheran Church; fraternally he is a member of the Turlock Lodge No. 395, F. & A. M.
T. R. TRICK, M. D. Among the leading professional men of Merced County is T. R. Trick, M. D., of Dos Palos. A native of Indiana, he was born in Wabash County, on August 25, 1893, and was educated in the public schools of his home locality. His desire was to become a doctor of medicine and he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in San Francisco. He graduated in the Class of 1921 with his coveted degree of M.D. from the medical department of the University of Southern California. For six months he practiced in San Francisco, then came to Los Banos, where he continued for another six months, and in February, 1923, located in Dos Palos, where he is gradually building up a lucrative practice.
Dr. Trick married Miss Ruth Galloway and they have a daughter, Ruth. Fraternally, Dr. Trick is a member of Sunset Lodge No. 352, F. & A. M., of Los Angeles. He is a member of the Merced County Medical Society, the California State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. Since taking up his residence in Merced County Dr. Trick has become recognized as one of the very public-spirited men on the West Side and enters into all movements to promote the welfare of town and county.
RAFFAELE MORETTI, M. D. A very successful physician and surgeon, as well as a versatile gentleman, Raffaele Moretti, M. D., of Los Banos, holds a high place in the estimation of the citizens of Los Banos, where he is carrying on a very lucrative practice. He was born in Florence, Italy, on March 25, 1876, and was educated in the schools of his city. Having finished the Cremona preparatory school he entered the University of Florence and graduated with the Class of 1904, as a Doctor of Medicine. He at once began the practice of his profession as county physician in Lucca, and after three years there he came to America, locating in Lawrence, Mass., in 1907, and practiced medicine and conducted a drug store for five years. Hoping to better his condition, Dr. Moretti came to Los Angeles in 1912, passed the examination of the State board. and spent six months in Sacramento, after which he came to Los Banos in the fall of 1913, since which time he has been engaged in the building-up of a successful practice. He is a member of the Merced County Medical Society, the State Medical Society and the American Medical Association.
Dr. Moretti has been married twice. His first wife was Miss Lena Dini, by whom he had a daughter, Celsa, now a student in the University of California, taking a course in dentistry. His second wife was Miss Annie Massei, born in Worcester, Mass., and they have four children, Rosie, Josie, John and Lydia.
GIACOMO TRIGLIA As the manager and proprietor of the Oberon Hotel in Los Banos, Giacomo Triglia has easily demonstrated his ability to handle diversified interests. He was born in the farming district of Italy on October 21, 1874, educated in the schools of his native land and worked at various occupations until coming to the United States and California in 1904. He had no advantages except a willingness to work; he could not speak English and had only $115 as visible assets. His first employment was in the vineyards of the Italian Swiss Colony in Madera County; three years later he arrived in Los Banos and engaged as a cook in the Oberon restaurant. Saving his money he was soon enabled to purchase the business and from that period he began to forge to the front. In 1919 when the entire business district of Los Banos was destroyed by fire, Mr. Triglia lost all he had, but with the determination to succeed he buckled down to hard work and in 1923 was enabled to build a modern structure of reinforced concrete 50x90 feet in dimensions on the site of the old Oberon Hotel. This structure, costing $50,000, was financed by the Bank of Italy of Los Banos. The building is of three stories, with twenty-two rooms, eight of them with bath, and there are eight public shower baths. The building is steam heated throughout, has a fine lobby, a large and sanitary dining room with a lunch counter and grill, and is reputed to be among the best hotels in the San Joaquin Valley for its size. An addition is contemplated which will give him eight more rooms.
Mr. Triglia was married in Marseilles, France, in 1900, to Adeline Grisanti, born in Italy. She has one daughter, Elizabeth Lucy. Mr. Triglia is a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Foresters of America. He was a director in the First National Bank of Los Banos and is now a member of the advisory board of the Los Banos branch of the Bank of Italy. He has made and kept his many friends since coming to Merced County and believes in progress along every line.
ASHLEY S. PARKER, M. D. Prominent in the medical profession in the central and northern part of California, and with an outstanding record behind him in Southern California, Ashley S. Parker, M.D., has taken rank in Merced County among the leading physicians and surgeons. A native of Marshall, Harrison County, Texas, he was born on April .5, 1871, and was educated in Louisiana and California. Coming to Riverside, Cal., in 1887, he graduated from the high school in that city, and later attended Tulane University, at New Orleans, from which he was graduated in 1893 with his degree of M.D. His first practice was in Fallbrook, San Diego County, Cal., and from there he went to Riverside and practiced from 1897 to 1909. In the latter year he went to Needles, Cal., practicing until 1909; while there he was division surgeon for the Santa Fe Railway with headquarters at Needles. While in Riverside Dr. Parker was physician to the Sherman Indian School; surgeon for the Salt Lake Railway; and he was also county physician of Riverside County, in charge of the county hospital for a number of years. He was president of the Riverside County Medical Society, and a member of the Council of the State Medical Society. He is now a member of the Merced County Medical Society, and the National Medical Association. Coming to Merced on February 21, 1921, he became associated in practice with Dr. W. E. Lilley, and his large and growing practice attests to the esteem he has gained in the community. Having a comprehensive knowledge of the great scientific principles which underlie his work, he has steadily increased his efficiency through research and study, keeping in touch with the most modern methods and discoveries, and these facts, added to his years of varied practice, make his services to humanity invaluable.
The marriage of Dr. Parker, occurring in March, 1896, at Riverside, Cal., united him with Grace Guffin, a native of Indianapolis, Ind. She has made music her life study, and is an accomplished artist on the piano and organ, and is now organist and leader of the choir in the Presbyterian Church in Merced, besides devoting some of her time to teaching, giving recitals, etc. Four children have been born to Dr. and Mrs. Parker: Lewis; Sarah, also a musician; James, attending the University of California, and Ashley, a student at the Merced High School; all natives of California. Fraternally, Dr. Parker is a Mason, belonging to the Lodge, Chapter, Fresno Commandery of Knights Templar, and Aahmes Shrine of Oakland; he is a member of Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. O. E., and a charter member of the Merced Lions Club. His ranch interests consist of a cotton farm at Blythe, Riverside County; a forty-acre alfalfa ranch at Patterson, Stanislaus County, and ranch land at Planada, Merced County.
History of Merced County California: John Outcalt
Historic Record Company Los Angeles, California 1925
Transcribed by Martha A Crosley Graham – Pages 731 - 820