Merced County, California



Note: Use CTRL-F to Search



One of the painting contractors of Los Banos whose reputation for good work is well known is Charles A. Donahue. He was born in Hamilton County, Nebr., on August 31, 1885, the son of Charles L. and Elizabeth (Brown) Donahue, and was the third in a family of four children, the others being Mildred, Frank and Emma, the wife of Mr. Carlson of Tranquillity, Cal. The father was a carpenter by trade. The son was taken by an uncle, his mother's brother, A. Brown, when only seven years old, in 1892, who brought him to Dos Palos, Merced County, where he attended school, grew to young manhood and worked on ranches in the neighborhood until 1905, when he was twenty, at which time he began learning the painter's trade in Watsonville. This trade he has followed ever since. His first three years were spent in Watsonville. Then he came to Los Banos, and here he has since lived and been employed at his trade, working on many of the important buildings in the town and surrounding country. For some time he was a foreman for Miller and Lux and looked after the painting of the buildings on their many holdings. Mr. Donahue bought an acre and a half on the western limits of Los Banos and this he has been cutting up into building lots and selling; and he now owns four houses himself. Among the buildings that show his handiwork are the Birch, Central Creamery, Commercial Club Home and Hotel, Catholic Church, Methodist Church, and the Toscano home ; also the enamel work on the new grammar school building.


On June 9, 1911, Charles A. Donahue was united in marriage with Miss Kate Jones, the marriage taking place in Stockton. She was born in the same town in Nebraska as was Mr. Donahue and they attended the same public school. She is the daughter of William and Alice Jones, farmers, who settled in Dos Palos in 1894, and was the ninth in a family of eleven children born to her parents. She has been prominently identified with the educational advancement of Merced County and was a teacher in the Volta grammar school. Mr. Donahue belongs to the Odd Fellows of Los Banos, and to the Encampment. He is a member of the American Legion Band of twenty-five pieces, he playing the tuba horn.



The logical connection between conducting a life insurance business and running a sheep ranch is not so apparent that the conditions of success in the one business would insure success in the other. Never­theless it is a fact that James Negra has been very successful as agent for the West Coast Life Insurance Company with offices in Merced and Los Banos, and it is chronicled that both he and his father made a success in raising sheep on their ranch. The father, Bernardi Negra, who is still living, was a native of Italy and came out to California in the early days before the railroad came to the West Side, and before the wagon roads were graded, and engaged in sheep-raising on a large scale. He was a personal friend of Henry Miller and was with him in many deals in livestock. In that day wool sold as low as three cents per pound and sheep for three dollars a head. James was born on his father's ranch three miles from Los Banos, on October 13, 1885, and was educated in the Monroe school in Badger Flat, Merced County, and he engaged in sheep growing on a mountain ranch, which he still owns. In 1922 he sold the sheep and took up the life insurance business.


James Negra married Lela Smith, a native of Merced County, and they have two children, James, Jr., and Jessie. Mr. Negra is a member of Merced Parlor No. 24, N. S. G. W.



A native son of California who is filling a position of honor and trust is M. L. Silva, cashier of the Los Banos branch of the Mercantile Trust Company of California, formerly the Portuguese-American Bank of San Francisco. He was born on September 16, 1881, in Alameda County, a son of Frank and Rita ( Mendes) Silva, both natives of the Azores Islands. The father's early experience was on a whaling vessel. He came to California in the early sixties, before the Central Pacific Railroad was built, and herded cows where now the residential part of San Francisco is situated. He was in Virginia City, Nevada, at the time of the great gold excitement and lived in the same boardinghouse with Mackie and Fair, who later became millionaires. The later years of his life were passed on his ranch in the Livermore Valley in Alameda County, where he ended his days.


M. L. Silva was educated in the public schools and business college. He began business for himself in Livermore, then for ten years was a deputy in the county tax collector's office in Oakland, after which time he entered the employ of the Bank of Italy and for five years was the assistant cashier of the Livermore branch. On November 1, 1922, he was appointed to his present position as cashier.


On September 4, 1908, Mr. Silva was united in marriage with Miss Anna Frances McCleud, born in Alameda County, a daughter of the pioneer, A. J. McCleud, and they have a son Andrew Francis. Mr. Silva is a member and Past President of Las Positas Parlor, No. 96, N. S. G. W.; belongs to the Woodmen of the World, both at Livermore; and to the Knights of Columbus of Merced. His many years of experience in the banking business have made of him an expert in his line and he holds a secure place in financial circles of Central California won solely on his merits.



Held in high esteem by all who know her, Mrs. Lucinda Rice is recognized as one of the guiding spirits for the betterment of conditions in Winton, Merced County. A native of Bracken County, Ky., she was married near Blue Lick Springs, Nicholas County, Ky., to Joseph William Rice, born in Robertson County, that state, on Septem­ber 29, 1860. They moved to Morton County, Kansas, but finding it too dry there moved back to Kentucky and settled in Bourbon County, near Paris, remaining until 1906, when they located in Pueblo, Colo., where Mr. Rice farmed leased land. In 1911 they came to Winton, Cal., and bought land in Merced Colony No. 3, put in alfalfa and built a home in Winton, which is still known as the Rice home. Selling their first piece of land they invested in a peach orchard of thirteen and one-half acres south of town, which Mrs. Rice still owns. Mr. Rice died on October 9, 1923. They had five children : Margaret C., Mrs. C. J. Cassell, mentioned elsewhere in this history; Irvin Galbraith, the eldest, proprietor of a general store in Manzanola, Colo. ; Iva Ray, married to Nathan Wheeler, a machinist near Pueblo, Colo.; Bessie May, the wife of Franklin Poteet, a machinist in Pueblo; and Bernie E., who died at the age of fourteen.


Mrs. Rice was the first acting postmaster at Winton, preceding H. A. Logue, the first regularly appointed postmaster. By popular consent Mrs. Rice was allowed to distribute the mail, thus making her the first official. She is an active member of the Presbyterian Church at Winton, Mr. Rice serving as an elder from the date of the organi­zation of the denomination in Winton, of which both Mr. and Mrs. Rice were factors. She was one of the organizers of the Woman's Improvement Club and has never relinquished her interest in its activities. She was also instrumental in the organization of the Win­ton Center of the Merced County Farm Bureau and the local Home Department, and took an active part in establishing the Parent-Teachers Association. Hers is truly a benign influence which is felt in all things for the betterment of the community in general.



As postmaster and druggist of Le Grand, Merced County, Alva 0. Horton is well-known in that section of the county, and is prominent in both business and social circles. A native of Ripley County, Ind., he was born March 17, 1881, and went to Oregon when only five years old, and lived near Portland during his childhood, there receiving his education in the public schools. He graduated in pharmacy from the Oregon Agricultural College, at Corvallis, Ore., in 1904, and clerked for D. P. Adamson in his drug store at Prineville, that state, later working as clerk in the Tabler Pharmacy, on North Sixth Street, Port­land, for three years.


Deciding to enter business for himself, he bought the drug store at Philomath, Ore., and ran the establishment for five years. He then came to Merced County and first worked as clerk in the Cody Drug Store at Le Grand, and later in Cody's store in Merced, also in the Maze Drug Store there. In 1920, he bought the Cody store at Le Grand, and has since that time been proprietor of this establishment, running it as an up-to-date drug store and catering to the wants of his many patrons in Le Grand and surrounding territory. He was appointed postmaster of Le Grand by President Harding, in 1920, and combines that office with his business interests, carrying on his duties efficiently and to the satisfaction of his many friends in the community. He is secretary of the Le Grand Board of Trade, and has always been interested in civic advancement; while in Philomath, Ore., he was a member of the city council for two years.


The marriage of Mr. Horton, occurring at Atwater in 1918, united him with Belle Adams, a native of Los Angeles County, and a graduate of the University of California, Southern Branch. She has taught in Los Angeles County and in the district schools of Merced County, and now holds the position of principal of the Le Grand Grammar School. One daughter has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Horton, Betty Jean. Fraternally, Mr. Horton belongs to the Modern Woodmen, and the Redmen, having passed all the chairs in both.



A prosperous rancher of Irwin is Carl Rose, who resides on his well cultivated ranch of forty acres in the Hilmar Colony. The comfortable competence which he now enjoys proves what it is possible to accomplish here by a man who possesses patience, foresight, energy, and a calm and wise judgment. He bought his first twenty acres in 1905 and made the necessary improvements, including the sinking of his well and the building of his house, but it was several years before he was able to add another twenty acres. He follows mixed farming, including the raising of trees, vines, alfalfa, beans, etc.


The third of seven children, Carl Rose was born at Smaaland, Sweden, on July 6, 1876, a son of Carl and Helen Peterson, frugal and upright people who passed their time in agricultural pursuits. The father attained to the age of eighty-two and the mother passed away at the age of sixty-three. Growing up on his father's humble place, Carl was taught to work. There was a particular intimacy between him and his elder brother Ed.; and when the latter emigrated to America, Carl longed to follow him to seek the enlarged opportunities which his brother reported. Five years later, 1896, he also was able to bid good-bye to his home and sail for America, his destination being Lancaster County, Nebr., where his brother was, and for three years he worked out on farms ; then he and his brother rented a farm for the next two years, after which they divided up and Carl went back to Sweden for a six months' visit, while Ed. came on to California and settled in the Hilmar Colony. Being pleased with conditions here he wrote Carl to come on and join him, which he did in 1905.


In 1916, Carl Rose was married to Miss Emma Loomis, a native of California and daughter of Rev. C. H. and Carrie (Strid) Loomis, the former for many years pastor of the Free Methodist Church at Santa Clara. Mr. and Mrs. Rose attend the Baptist Church in Turlock. In politics they are consistent Republicans.


While living in Nebraska he took an interest in American politics, and though a Republican he became an admirer of William Jennings Bryan, who was then a resident of Lancaster County. Though many years have passed he is still an admirer of the Great Commoner and happy in knowing that he has never compromised with grafters and crooked politicians.



A man who commands the respect and esteem of his fellow citizens in the Hilmar and Irwin sections of Merced County is C. A. Mord, blacksmith at Hilmar. A native of Sweden, he was born November 5, 1882, the son of August and Olivia Mord, natives of that country who came to America when our subject was a child of one year. They first settled at Oakland, Nebr., and seven years later moved to Warsaw, Knox County, that state, where the parents are still living. They had ten children in their family, C. A. being the fourth, and the eldest of five boys. He attended the common schools of Nebraska and was reared on the prairies. He learned how to farm successfully in that country and also learned the trade of the blacksmith in his father's shop, and later went to Warsaw, where he worked in a shop two years. In 1915 he came to California and went to work in the blacksmith shop of A. O. Johnson in Irwin as a journeyman. Six months later he entered the service of A. Hochlightner and remained with him two years. Then he decided to go into business for himself and he erected the first unit of his shop in Irwin, but later moved it to Hilmar and made an addition to it for the better conduct of his grow­ing trade. In 1918 he built his residence in Hilmar.


Mr. Mord was united in marriage on April 2, 1913, with Agnes Wickstrom, a native of Indiana, and they have five children : Lucile, Weldon, Everett, Laverne and Naomi. Mr. and Mrs. Mord are members of the Swedish Evangelical Mission Church at Hilmar and he served as treasurer of the organization during the erection of the new $46,000 church in 1922. He studies carefully the political issues of the day and votes without fear or favor.



As an intelligent, energetic fruit grower, Oliver Franklin Johnston is typical of all that is best in an estimable ancestry. His father is a carpenter and builder and at the age of seventy-three is an active and skillful workman, able to do a full day's work. They are of that sterling Scotch blood which predominates in Canada, from whence they came ; hospitable and highly respected, they are of the class that are ever regarded as the bulwarks of society. 0. F. Johnston is the owner of a fruit ranch of thirty-three and a third acres in Fruitland precinct, fourteen acres being in peaches and vines, and he resides at the ranch home of his parents in the same precinct. Mr. Johnston was born at Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, on May 26, 1892, the son of John Henry and Emma (Crawford) Johnston, the former born in the Province of Ontario, Canada, and brought up in Upper Canada near Toronto. The mother was born in Quebec, her father of English and her mother of Scotch birth, and she attended the public school. After their marriage they moved to what was then the terri­tory of Dakota in 1882, and homesteaded 160 acres near Lisbon, now in North Dakota. Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Johnston moved from Dakota to California about 1884 and settled in Dixon, for four years, where Mr. Johnston worked at his trade. Coming over to San Luis Obispo County he bought a farm in 1888, where their son Oliver Franklin was born. They had six children, as follows: William, a clerk in a store at Paso Robles, who married Alice Luckey and lives in Paso Robles; Elizabeth Grace, wife of Hubert Petersen, a rancher in the Par Colony; Anna Mabel, wife of Verne Donaldson, in the trucking and transfer business in Livingston; Oliver Franklin, our subject; Agnes Isabel, a trained nurse in San Francisco; and Flora, wife of Raymond Van den Heuvel of Merced.


Oliver Franklin Johnston grew up on his father's farm near Paso Robles until he was nine years old, and then came with his parents to San Francisco, and to the Fruitland Colony in 1910. He is a Republi­can in politics and a member of the Woodmen of the World.



That "honesty is the best policy" is the maxim that governs the business life of Louis Dahlstrom, merchant at Irwin in the Hilmar Colony of Merced County. He believes in the "square deal" with everybody and in consequence he is prospering accordingly. A native of Sweden he was born on January 17, 1877, the son of H. L. and Carrie Dahlstrom, natives of Sweden who came to America with their family in 1889. Their eldest son, Peter Dahlstrom, had come the year before and the family located in Marshall County, Minn., where the father was a farmer on 160 acres of land. There were six children in the family, viz. : Mary, Mrs. Henry Lundell of Turlock; Peter, who died in Minnesota in 1889 ; John, born November 24, 1874; Louis, our subject; Dan, born August 12, 1880, who erected the Dahlstrom block in Irwin in 1922; Gust, born in Sweden on May 31, 1884, now running a Union Oil station in Turlock. The mother, who was born in 1842, died in Turlock in 1922 aged eighty years ; the father, already past eighty-four, is living retired in Turlock.


Louis Dahlstrom accompanied the family to the United States and attended the schools in Minnesota and then spent some time in Wash­ington before he arrived in Turlock, he being the first member of the family to arrive here. In 1921 he started a grocery store on a small scale at Irwin, later being joined by his brother John; and they carried on the grocery business under the firm name of Dahlstrom Brothers until January 1, 1925, when Louis bought his brother's interest and continues the business as Louis Dahlstrom. He has built up a pros­perous business and his trade gradually increases with the growth of the community.


In 1905 Louis Dahlstrom was married to Miss Annie Johnson, daughter of Mrs. Frank Johnson of the Hilmar Colony, and their children are : Ella Evangeline, Helen, Stanley, Chester, June, Pershing and Donald. Mr. Dahlstrom is one of the progressive men of the colony and does his duty as a citizen at all times.



The town of Winton was named after the surveyor of Merced County, who was operating for a land and trust company. In 1918 a fourth class postoffice was started with Harry A. Logue as post­master; it was made a third class postoffice on February 14, 1923. The second incumbent of the office was Mrs. Margaret Cassell, and the third, Albert Edward Smith. He was born in Grass Valley, Nevada County, Cal., July 12, 1879. His father, Zenor T. Smith, was born in Worcester, Ohio, came to California as a young man and taught school at Grass Valley. The mother, Caroline McClosky Smith, was born in Iowa and came to California with her brother. Being afflicted with asthma it was necessary for her to leave Grass Valley and they located at Atwater, Merced County, where her health was im­proved. The father taught in the Merced, Turlock, Snelling and Madera public schools, and passed away in 1904 at the age of sixty-six. The mother still lives at Gustine, Merced County. They had three children: Frank E., who is in the employ of the State Highway Commission and resides in Merced; Albert Edward, our subject; and Belle, the wife of Harry Foster, who lives in Gustine.


Albert Edward Smith was only a year old when his parents brought him to Merced, and his education was begun in the public schools of the county and completed by a course in Heald's Business College in San Francisco. He clerked in different stores and at length started a general merchandise store for himself in Winton.


On November 9, 1909, A. E. Smith was married to Martha Ann Logue, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs Harry A. Logue, of Winton, of whom a sketch is elsewhere given in this book. Two children were born of this union, Robert Arthur and Mabel Verna. The former has the distinction of being the first boy born in Merced Colony No. 2 at Winton, Cal. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are intelligent and personally attractive and have won the esteem of the community in which they live for their thoughtfulness and attention to the wants of the people of their community. Mrs. Smith makes an able and accommodating assistant postmaster. Mr. Smith is a member of the Moose and of the Modern Woodmen of America of Merced.



It has been said of the World War, that those who "talked about its horrors did not know, and those who knew about them did not talk." It is doubtless for that reason that no data have come to the sketch writer from the veteran Samuel E. Harris of his experience in the field of Argonne and elsewhere in France. He does not talk. It is only chronicled that he was an engineer in Co. A, 25th Regiment of the 1st Army Corps. All honor must be given him for responding to his country's call and for faithful service to the end. He is today serv­ing his day and generation quite as efficiently as agent of the Ford products in Dos Palos. Born in New York City, July 14, 1891, he was reared and educated in Cincinnati, Ohio, up to 1910. From 1911 to 1913 he was in San Francisco. From there he went to Firebaugh, Fresno County, where he was a clerk in Miller and Lux's general store. He next engaged in business for himself until he enlisted in the United States Army. When he returned from the war he sold out his business in Firebaugh in 1919, and coming to Dos Palos he took over the agency of the Ford products and now sells the Ford and Lincoln cars and the Fordson tractors and all accessories.


Mr. Harris is vice-president of the Dos Palos Chamber of Com­merce, and a member of Mountain Brow Lodge No. 312, F. & A. M., of Los Banos, and of the Dos Palos Post of the American Legion, No. 86. His family consists of his wife, Elsie E. (Cline) Harris, and one son, Samuel E., Jr.



A Swedish-American of sterling worth who is prominent in farm and church circles in the Hilmar Colony of Merced County, is Arthur 0. Wickstrom, who is deeply interested in projects for the advance­ment of his adopted county and state. He lives on his thirty-five-acre ranch on August Avenue, one mile northwest of Hilmar. He was born at Earl Park, Ind., on November 30, 1879, the son of Oscar A. Wickstrom, who is mentioned elsewhere in this history. When Arthur was a child of two his parents moved to Iowa, and when he was four they removed to Dakota Territory, that part now embraced in South Dakota. It seemed that the elder Wickstrom was looking for a suitable location for a home, and in 1886 he went to Colorado and farmed near Holyoke, Phillips County. In 1898 they left for Knox County, Nebr., and it was in the public schools of these various places that our subject received his education. He was brought up to be a farmer and has devoted his entire life to that pursuit and is now a well-informed man on many branches of agriculture and horticulture. In 1911 Mr. Wickstrom left Nebraska for California, having decided to settle here, where his father had located in 1903. He has been successfully carrying on his ranch ever since.


In 1904 the marriage of Arthur O. Wickstrom and Ida Mord was celebrated in Nebraska. She is a sister of C. A. Mord, the blacksmith at Hilmar. This marriage has resulted in the birth of four children: Oliver, Olivia, Dorothy, and Alvin. Mr. Wickstrom is a member and a trustee of the Swedish Evangelical Mission Church at Hilmar, con­tributing generously towards the fund for the fine $46,000 edifice. He is a liberal Republican and considers the correct principles of govern­ment and the strict observance of the Eighteenth Amendment.



One of the rising young professional men of Merced, where he is building up a fine practice, is Ralph D. Hoard, a native of Union County, South Dakota, born April 20, 1895. There he was reared and educated up to the age of eleven. He later was associated with his brother in a flour mill in Oregon, and came to California in 1909 with this relative, first locating in Pasadena, where they were engaged in the garage and automobile business.


After some time spent in these different lines, Mr. Hoard decided to follow a definite profession, and one in which he felt an especial interest. He entered the Los Angeles College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, and after graduating in 1922, practiced in Los Angeles. Coming to Merced in October, 1923, he opened up offices here and has since been a part of the professional life of the city and county, building up a practice founded on the confidence and patronage of the people, who know him as a conscientious, able exponent of his profession, one who makes a study of each individual case, and uses the most modern methods to bring about a cure. His well-equipped offices are a testimonial to his success.


The marriage of Dr. Hoard, which occurred November 29, 1917, united him with Dorothy Crumley, a native of Canada. During the World War Dr. Hoard served in the medical corps attached to the 40th Division, went over seas with them, and was later transferred, spending altogether one year in France. He is a member of American Legion Post No. 83 at Merced.



Though still young in years Water T. Peterson has demonstrated his ability in mercantile lines and is proving that he possesses the qualities of success in any occupation in life. Coming from an excel­lent Swedish family, he is a man of unusual worth and promises to make a citizen of which any community may well be proud. On October 1, 1923, he bought the store from the Hedman-Johnson Hardware Company and has started the Peterson Cash Grocery, deal­ing in staple and fancy groceries and hardware.


Walter T. Peterson was born in Central City, Colo., on September 4, 1901, the son of John and Amanda (Lindahl) Peterson, who are living in the Hilmar Colony, where they own a fruit and dairy ranch of thirty acres. They are both natives of Sweden and were married in Colorado, where the father was a gold and silver miner for twenty years before coming to Hilmar in 1903. They have three children : Ethel, at home ; Paul, who owns forty acres in the Hilmar Colony; and Walter T., who grew up in the Hilmar Colony and worked on his father's ranch during school vacations until he was ten years old, when he went to work for the Hedman-Johnson Hardware Company. After finishing the Elim Union Grammar School he had three years in the Hilmar Union High School. His brother Paul left for the war and he was called home to help on the farm. With the exception of that ten months he worked for the Hedman-Johnson Hardware Com­pany until he bought out their store at Hilmar in 1923. He owns five acres which he has improved from bare land to a bearing vineyard. He is secretary of the Hilmar Community Chamber of Commerce and in politics is a Republican.


W. B. OLSON   The state of Iowa is sending many well-to-do and honored citizens to California, prominent among whom is W. B. Olson, who resides with his family in his comfortable and attractive home on his thirty-acre farm devoted to general and mixed farming near Irwin. He is a fine type of the Norwegian-American manhood, a large, well-built and muscular man, with a strong mind in a healthy body, full of good nature and streaks of humor that make you feel that he is a jolly good fellow.


Mr. Olson was born in Story County, Iowa, in 1869. He grew up there and was married to Miss Martha Sydnes, also a native of Iowa. They came to California in 1907 and bought the thirty-acre ranch one mile south of Irwin on the east side of Lander Avenue. His father, Brite Olson, settled in Iowa in 1855, being one of this county's earliest permanent settlers. He brought with him the intelligence and strength which characterized the hardy Norse pioneers of the Northwest.


Mr. and Mrs. Olson stand for education and progress and it is their aim to provide a good education for their four daughters. All are well known in educational circles. The eldest, Rebecca, is a gradu­ate of the Fresno Teachers College and is a teacher in the high school at Kerman, in Fresno County. The second daughter, Elma, is a high school graduate and now the wife of Prof. Haberman, whose specialty is horticulture in the schools of Los Angeles. The third daughter, Winnie, is a graduate of the Fresno Teachers College and is a teacher in Hanford. The youngest daughter, Pearl, is a graduate of Fresno Teachers College and teaches at Atwater, Merced County.



The possibility or starting at the bottom on the road to success with only a team of horses and a plow, and eventually winning out, is exemplified in the career of William P. Morrison, who resides on the Merced River ranch near Snelling. He was born in Redlands, Cal., the youngest of four children in his parents' family. His father, F. P. Morrison, was born in San Rafael, Cal., and attended Yale College in the nineties, and upon returning to California he located at Redlands and engaged in citrus culture in partnership with his brother, W. P. Morrison, whom he eventually bought out. He was one of the founders and was president of the First National Bank of Redlands. and he served as city treasurer of Redlands for fifteen years. F. P. Morrison was married to Mabel Stillman of San Francisco. Her father was the late John B. Stillman, who came to San Francisco via the Horn in 1846 and went on to Sacramento in 1849, where he later became prominent as the builder and owner of the Stillman Hospital. Later he moved to San Francisco, where the family is prominent and active today.


William P. Morrison attended a private school at Redlands and was a student in the Sheffield Preparatory School in 1914 at Andover, Mass. He entered Yale College, Class of 1917, but in 1916 transferred to the University of California, Agricultural Department, Class of 191,8. His college days' work was interrupted when he enlisted, in June, 1917, in the University of California Ambulance Corps No. 2 for service in the World War. He trained at Allentown, Pa., and was transferred in January, 1918, to the Officers Training School; he received a commission as second lieutenant of the 152nd Depot Brigade and served until the Armistice, and received an honorable discharge on December 30, 1918 at Camp Kearny. He returned to his father's home in Redlands and was unsettled until the fall of 1919, when he took up the responsibility of operating his father's ranch, on the south side of the Merced River, one and a half miles above Snelling. This property, consisting of 640 acres, and known as the Old Blunt Ranch, has been in the family for the past thirty-five years and has been leased to tenants. Here Mr. Morrison raises hogs on the uplands, and hay, grain and figs on the rich soil of the bottom lands ; walnuts are also being set out.



As the present manager of the Atwater Fruit Exchange, a branch of the California Fruit Exchange, Elmer B. Wood is making good in the responsible position he holds. The Exchange is a non-profit, cooperative association and the Atwater branch started in 1918 with thirty-two members, the first season shipping seventy-six cars of fruit. At the present writing, 1925, there is a membership of some 250, and the season of 1923 shipped 333 cars to various sections of the country. The various plants of the original local company employ as high as 200 people during the heaviest part of the season, at which time the pay roll amounts to $8,000 per week. Not a little of the gradual growth of the local Exchange is due to the untiring efforts of Mr. Wood, who devotes his entire time to the business.


The eldest of three children, Elmer B. Wood was born on a farm in Indiana, not far from the city of Chicago, a son of the late John R. Wood. His mother, Lela (Diehl) Wood, still makes her home in Indiana. Elmer was reared on the home farm- and attended the public schools, coming to California in 1913, to make his home with his grandfather, W. D. Wood, in the San Marino citrus belt, where he learned about all there was to know of the industry in all its branches. He continued his study at the Davis Agricultural College, Davis, Cal., in 1917. But his work was interrupted by his enlistment in the army, where he became a second lieutenant in Headquarters Co., Ninety-first Division, serving until honorably discharged at Camp Sherman, Ohio, in June, 1919.


Mr. Wood was united in marriage in November, 1919, with Miss Dorothy. Hertges, born in the State of Washington. After his dis­charge from the United States service he returned to California and was engaged in farming and agricultural development until he was made the successor of W. H. Spann, as manager of the Atwater Fruit Exchange, the position he now holds. Mr. Wood owns a twenty-acre ranch one-half mile north of Atwater, which is set to peaches and grapes. Fraternally, he is a member of Yosemite Lodge No. 99, F. & A. M., and the Merced Pyramid of Sciots, both of Merced. He is an upright and conscientious man, and has a host of friends in the county.



Endowed with sound executive and business ability, Ambrose E. Daneri, postmaster of Merced, Cal., is recognized as a worthy representative of the intelligent and substantial citizens of his locality, and is held in high esteem throughout the section in which he resides. A son of John and Angella Daneri, he was born March 24, 1880, in Coulterville, Cal., where he remained until he was a young man. The father, John Daneri, was an early settler in Mariposa County, com­ing there in the late fifties, he engaged in farming on a large scale and served as road overseer. He passed away on the home farm in 1899, aged fifty-nine years ; the mother still makes her home there and is seventy-eight years of age.


Ambrose E. Daneri completed the grammar school course in his native county, and then entered the Stockton Business College, from which he was graduated in 1900. After his graduation he became bookkeeper for Hale Brothers in San Francisco, remaining with this firm for two years, when he entered the employ of the Santa Fe Rail­road Company and was sent to Richmond, Cal., where he served in the commissary department for fourteen months. He then returned to Mariposa County and took the management of the famous Horse Shoe Bend Ranch in that county owned by Francis B. Loomis, assistant Secretary of State in Washington, D. C., and Richard H. Rogers of Springfield, Ohio, and successfully managed the ranch for one year, when he went home and ran the home ranch for the following three years. On March 15, 1909, Mr. Daneri removed to Merced and entered the postal service under Charles Harris; from 1916 to 1918 he served as assistant postmaster and in 1919 he received his appoint­ment as postmaster, a position he has capably filled ever since. Mr. Daneri received the further distinction of being made county director of Merced County of the Government Savings under the U. S. Treas­ury Department, and during the World War was very active in this department. Always taking an active and helpful interest in public affairs, he lends his aid toward the advancement of all movements calculated to enhance the general welfare.

On April 8, 1903, Mr. Daneri married Miss Cora Belle Hamil­ton, of Wellington, Ill., who became the mother of two children, Amo and Hamilton. Mrs. Daneri died in 1915. Mr. Daneri is a member and a Past Grand of Merced Lodge No. 208, I. 0. 0. F.; Past Chief Patriarch of San Joaquin Encampment No. 46, I. 0. 0. F.; also a member of Fresno Canton, I. 0. 0. F.; President ( March, 1925) of Yosemite Parlor No. 24, N. S. G. W., and First Vice-President of the Lions' Club of Merced.



The life of the manager of the Atwater branch of the Merced Lumber Company has much in it that is worthy of honorable mention. The only son and eldest of three children, James H. Slavan, was born in Winnemucca, Nev., November 2, 1892, a son of James P. and Lorena (Hastings) Slavan, born in New York and Wisconsin, respec­tively. James P. came west with his father from New York. The lat­ter engaged in the cattle business in Nevada and died there. James P. later came on to San Francisco and took up railroad work and was agent on the Southern Pacific. He afterwards engaged in the whole­sale grocery trade and died in 1916. Mrs. Slavan's father, Al. Hast­ings, was roadmaster on the Southern Pacific in Carson City, Nev. His principal work, however, was in the construction work of the Alameda Pier.


James H. Slavan was reared in Oakland and was graduated from the John C. Fremont High School in 1911. In 1913 he shipped as a sailor before the mast and served four years, receiving his certificate as pilot in May, 1917. In the meantime he worked as assistant cashier for the Santa Fe in Oakland, then went on the road as clerk to Road-master John Clendening. Later he enlisted in the U. S. Navy as warrant boatswain and was appointed recruiting officer. He is Past Supervisor in the West Coast Naval Reserve under Captain Castle of San Francisco. He received a commission on the U. S. S. Invincible under Captain George H. Zeh, in November, 1918, and made many trips to France. He received an honorable discharge in San Fran­cisco in 1921. He is secretary of the Board of Trade of Atwater and of the Boosters Club; is a Republican in politics and fraternally is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. O. E.



Although a resident of Merced for comparatively a brief time, Ernest Pagnini has won recognition as a citizen of worth and his business, located at 524 L Street, has been conducted with fair suc­cess. He came to Merced in 1920 and was associated with Mr. Boze­man in the bicycle business. One year later he became the sole owner of the establishment; he deals in all makes of bicycles and motor­cycles, and is equipped to do all kinds of repairing. A native of Italy, he was born on February 6, 1894, a son of P. and Mary Pagnini, both natives of the same country. The father brought his family to California in 1896 and settled in Merced County, where he engaged in raising raisin grapes. Both parents are now residing at Santa Cruz, retired from active business life.

Ernest Pagnini attended the public school in Merced and grew up on his father's farm. He remained with his parents until 1919, when he established a bicycle business at Madera, which he sold one year later and removed to Merced. Since 1911 Mr. Pagnini has been a professional motorcycle racer.



The Azores Islands have sent many of their inhabitants to America, and they have usually done so well and have sent back such glowing reports of their success that it was natural that as Joseph Cardoza was drawing towards manhood he should be fired with the ambition to seek that El Dorado where so many of his countrymen had gone. He was born December 27, 1888, in Terceira. His mother, Jane Lawrence Cardoza, had died at the age of twenty-five. His father, Antone, is still living at the age of sixty-eight. There were only his brother Manuel and sister Mary, so the ties to keep him at home were not strong and the year 1907 found him in Boston, Mass., and not long thereafter near Sacramento, Cal., where he found em­ployment on a dairy farm at Freeport, on the Sacramento River. A year later he was in Los Banos, still working in the dairy business. Then he went into the business for himself, leased land and carried on five strings of cows. After eight years in company with his brother he was able to buy a ranch of 225 acres from M. M. Wood in 1918, and here he had 130 cows. Then he and his brother and a third partner, F. S. Pacheo, bought a second ranch of 140 acres near Los Banos, and ran a dairy on this place. He and his brother now own 295 acres. In the spring of 1922 he and his brother started into the dairy business again and they now have about seventy-five cows on the 225-acre ranch bought of Mr. Wood.


On June 6, 1922, Mr. Cardoza was married at San Francisco to Mary Augustine, born in Bedford, Mass., and daughter of Joseph and Margaret Augustino, natives of Flores of the Azores.


Mr. Cardoza is a director of the Los Banos branch of the Mercan­tile Trust Company of California and stock inspector for it. He is not identified with any political party, but votes for the man he thinks is best fitted for the office. Fraternally, he is a member of the U. P. E. C. and an ex-vice-president of the I. D. E. S. and belongs to the Eagles. He is a member of the Catholic Church.



An example of the rewards in store for young men of ability and industry who are fortunate enough to have been born in Merced County, the descendants of worthy parents who came here and took advantage of the opportunities at hand, may be found in Antone Furtado, born October 4, 1900, at El Nido, Merced County, the seventh of eight children born to the late John F. and Margaret (Silva) Furtado, both natives of the Azores Islands, and now de­ceased. He was reared on the home ranch, attending the Russell dis­trict school, and during his spare time, when not busy at his books and school tasks, he took an active part in the ranch work, and when old enough, took part in grain raising on an extensive scale with his older brothers and his parents, in the El Nido district.


Tony Furtado, as he is familiarly known, has shown his business acumen by careful handling of business long before he reached his majority, and since then he has made some splendid investments and has become one of the richest of Merced County's young men. His home ranch, in Franklin District, where he located in 1920, consists of twenty acres devoted to alfalfa and dairy, and he owns a part of the estate of his father, the late J. F. Furtado.


The marriage of Mr. Furtado, which occurred in Merced, Sept. 6, 1920, united him with Bessie A. King, born in Le Grand, on June 8, 1902, the daughter of Joseph and Marie King, venerable pioneers of Merced County, born in the Azores, and now deceased. Two children have come to bless their marriage: Carmel M., born on April 29, 1922, and A. Merlin, born on January 24, 1925. After the death of Mrs. King, in 1915, Mrs. Furtado inherited the home prop­erty on 21st Street. The father died August 5, 1912. Mr. Furtado belong to the I. D. E. S. society, and the Knights of Columbus, and he is very sincerely interested in the advancement and further de­velopment of the resources of his home county. He knows its possi­bilities, and has faith in the prosperous future in store for this section.



A building contractor of Atwater who has always had his share of the building business of that fast-growing settlement is J. J. Gon­zales, a native son, born in Bear Valley, Mariposa County, on May 1, 1873, the oldest child of Manuel and Mary (Silva) Gonzales. Manuel Gonzales was born on the Island of Pico in the Azores, and in the early sixties landed in San Francisco and soon afterwards located in Mariposa County. At the age of thirty he married Mary Silva, who is still living at the age of seventy-four years and resides at Atwater. Manuel died there in 1923.


J. J. Gonzales attended the public schools of Mariposa County and as he grew up he followed mining in the creek channels in that county. The results were far from satisfactory to the ambitious lad and he started in to learn the carpenter's trade and learned it from the bottom up. He came to Atwater in 1906 and for some time his attention was divided between ranching and carpentering as he secured jobs here and there. In 1913 he gave up ranching to devote his time to contracting and building and has since been thus engaged, doing his share of the home building in Atwater and the surrounding country. Mr. Gonzales was married in 1905 to Anne DeNeves, born in Bear Valley, Mariposa County, the daughter of the late Mathew DeNeves, who died in April, 1925 at the age of seventy-seven. His widow, Mary DeNeves, is still living. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Gonzales four children have been born: William, Elmer, Franklin and Thelma, all born in Merced County.



Born in San Antonio, Texas, on December 4, 1882, W. C. Cotton was the fourth in a family of eight children born to Charles F. and Mary F. (Edgar) Cotton. Charles F. Cotton was born at Fort Smith, Texas, in 1849, became a journalist and publisher and after forty years of active life retired to San .Antonio. Mrs. Cotton was born in San Antonio. Her father was a member of General Miles' Scout troops, and a captain in the regulars in the Mexican War with General Taylor. He served for fifteen years as Vice Consul of Mexico City. He lived to be eighty-two years of age. The grandparents on both sides of the family helped make history in the early days when Texas was a territory.


William C. Cotton was educated in the public schools in San Antonio, graduating from the high school_ He began life's work as a copy boy in the office of the Daily Express of San Antonio, receiving three dollars per week as a wage. Becoming dissatisfied with the out­look he went to Chicago in 1900 and entered the employ of W. R. Hearst, left copy work to take up the mechanical end of the newspaper and rose to be color man at sixty-five dollars per week and was thus engaged for four years, continuing newspaper work until 1911. He had entered Valparaiso University in Chicago in 1907, and upon receiving his M. D. degree in 1911, became an intern in Bellevue Hos­pital and two years later went to Bloomington, Ill., and became asso­ciated in office work with Dr. Benson.


In 1917 Dr. Cotton enlisted for service in the World War, was First Lieutenant of Benjamin Harrison Medical Casuals A. E. F. three months later, serving until 1919. He was Chief of Staff at Win­chester, England, in charge of 200 men and thirty-five nurses and seventeen doctors. He received his honorable discharge at Camp Riley, Kans., in March, 1919. After the war he came to Atwater, Cal. and engaged in the practice of his profession and since then has built up a lucrative practice and has made a large circle of friends.


In Chicago, in 1902, Dr. Cotton was united in marriage with Marie Steele, daughter of the late Carl S. Steele and Marie O. Steele, now a resident of Los Angeles. Mrs. Cotton was born in Ohio. They have two children : Opal, an advanced student and Russian Ballet dancer in Los Angeles ; and William Edgar, attending the public schools in Merced County. Dr. Cotton is a Republican in politics. Fraternally he is a member of Yosemite Lodge No. 99, F. & A. M. and the Sciots, both in Merced; Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. 0. E. and a charter member of the Atwater Camp, Woodmen of the World; and he is a member of the Atwater Booster Club. He is a member of the Atwater Fruit Exchange and the California Peach and Fig Association. He owns 100 acres of highly developed orchard and vine­yard in Merced County, and is a one-fifth owner in Mercy Hospital in Merced. He was president of the Merced County Medical Society in 1923, and health officer of the county in 1922, 1923 and 1924.


While in Chicago Dr. Cotton was one of the founders of the Federated Newspaper Trades of that city and served as secretary in 1911-1912. He was prominent in politics while in Chicago and opened the Victor Berger campaign at Milwaukee, Wis. He is a personal friend of Eugene Debs and was formerly an active mem­ber of the Socialist party. He is a profound thinker, brilliant debater and ready writer and scholar. He has been the champion of the under dog, so to speak, wherever he finds he can do some good. Take it all in all he has been and is a very useful member of society.



Of all the immigrants who come to our shores there are none who make a better class of citizens than the Danes. Loyal Americans, frugal, honest, temperate and industrious, they soon rise to positions of honor and respect. Typical of that class in every respect, is Fredrick Hansen, section foreman of the Santa Fe Railroad at Merced. A native of Denmark, he was born August 2, 1862, a son of Christian and Mary Ann Hansen. His father was a miller and with his brother conducted a grist mill until his death. He was injured in a runaway of his team, from the effects of which he never fully recovered.


Fredrick Hansen was educated in the grammar schools of his native country and grew up at home until he was sixteen years of age, when he joined the army. After four years of service, at the age of twenty, the lure of adventure and the desire to make his for­tune induced him to emigrate and he eventually arrived in Wisconsin, where he got employment on a farm at twelve dollars a month. Characteristic of his frugal countrymen, he soon accumulated enough surplus funds from even such small wages to enable him to begin farming on his own account, which he did at Iowa Falls, Iowa. That it was not entirely to his satisfaction is evidenced by the fact that in 1900 he turned his steps still further westward and he arrived in Livermore, Cal., that fall. For four years he worked on a ranch, and at the same time had charge of a section of the Southern Pacific Railroad. His next move was to Stockton, where he worked for the Santa Fe until he came to Merced in 1909, since when he has been section foreman on the railway up to the present.

It was in Iowa Falls that Fredrick W. Hansen was united in marriage to Miss Josephine Marie Larsen, a native of Denmark, but reared in the United States. The children of the union are as fol­lows: Louis, who is a partner in a drug store in Stockton; Dorothy, wife of Frank Blair of Stockton, and mother of a son; Edward, also in Stockton; Mabel, wife of John Fragie, of Merced, and mother of a son and daughter; Agnes, Mrs. Herbert Dean, of Oakland; and Roy, who served in France in the World War, was wounded and came back physically unfit from shell shock. Mr. Hansen is. a Demo­crat in politics. He is deeply interested in Merced City and County and is a public-spirited and highly respected citizen.



The name of Albert Walker Chinn has become well known to the citizens of Merced County and is synonymous with thrift, honesty and integrity. After coming to Merced in 1918 he acted in the capacity of representative of the California Nursery Company until entering the employ of the California Peach and Fig Growers Association. He was born in Lincoln, Nebr., Aka 2, 1883, his parents being Edward F. and Ida (Walker) Chinn. The father is now deceased and the mother makes her home with our subject in Merced.


Albert Walker Chinn attended district school adjacent to Lin­coln and then completed the high school course in Lincoln. After finishing school he worked in a meat packing establishment for ten years, and also engaged in ranching in Nebraska prior to coming to California in 1912. Arriving in California he ranched for six years, then when he came to Merced in 1918, he became the representative of the California Nursery Company. During the World War, Mr. Chinn served in the U. S. Army with credit to himself and his coun­try. When casting his vote he considers man above party; fraternally he is affiliated with the Moose Lodge, and he belongs to the Cham­ber of Commerce of Merced.



A fair type of the rising young men of California, whose success thus far is promising of a bright future, is William D. Carlin. The youngest of four sons and the fourth in order of birth of five children, he was born in Eureka, Cal., on May 4, 1895. His father, also W. D. Carlin, a native of Michigan, married Barbara Fleckenstein, a native of Iowa. He came to California at the age of eighteen and followed agriculture quite successfully. He was well-known among the dairy and creamery men. He died in Eureka in 1900 ; the mother died the same year.


The son, W. D. Carlin, went to the school in Eureka, and further prepared himself by a course in electrical engineering in the Inter­national Correspondence School. He was brought up on a ranch and later drifted into the employ of the Sacramento Valley Sugar Com­pany and was the staff engineer for two years at Hamilton City. He next took up field and contract work with the California Fruit Can­ners Association in their Stockton office covering territory as far south as Turlock. Drawn away by the Oatman gold boom, for five months he was occupied in Kingman, Ariz. Returning to California, Mr. Carlin worked for the Western Auto Stage Company in Merced. From that he entered the employ of W. C. Dallas, working gradually into ranch and general machinist business with the Dallas Ranches, Inc. He owns desirable real estate in Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and Eureka, Cal. He came to Atwater in 1919 and has unbounded faith in its future.


W. D. Carlin was married on August 10, 1916, to Miss Elizabeth Sale, a native of Kentucky. She was reared in Kentucky and Colo­rado and studied pipe organ under Elizabeth Graham. Although she has practiced little of late, she is always interested in that line of art. They have one son, William D., Jr., born September 2, 1919.



Numbered among the successful members of the Medical profes­sion is N. Genevieve Chipman, M.D., of Livingston. Dr. Chipman is held in high esteem for the ability she has evinced in her profession, the earnestness and thought she gives to her work, and the spirit in which she ministers to the needs of suffering humanity. Her birth occurred at Savanna, Ill., and she was graduated from the high school at that place, after which she entered the Lewis Institute at Chicago, Ill., where she began her preparation for the practice of medicine. Completing her course there she entered the Chicago College of Medi­cine and was graduated with the class of 1915. She began practice in Chicago and continued until 1917. When the call came for doctors and nurses for government service she went into the United States Public Health service and was assigned to Nitro, W. Va., near Charleston, where the munition plant of the government was located. Dr. Chipman was honorably discharged from the service on December 11, 1918, and returned to Chicago, where she resumed general practice. In November, 1919, she removed to California and settled at Turlock, where she became associated with the doctors Julien, continuing until November 1, 1923, when she took over the office and prac­tice of Dr. Gilbert C. Saunders in Livingston. Dr. Chipman keeps abreast of the times and is an active member of the County Medical Society, the State Medical Society, the American Association and the National Woman's Medical Association.



Successful in his chosen work, Harry E. Doyle is entitled to a place among the substantial citizens of Merced County, to which loca­tion he came in 1917, when he assumed the agency for the Dodge Brothers motor cars. His fireproof building is located at 644 Seven­teenth Street in Merced. A son of William S. and Adaline (Legg) Doyle, he was born in Ellenville, N. Y., on January 28, 1889. Both parents are still living in New York State.


Harry E. Doyle completed the grammar and high school courses; then took a course in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, N. Y., and completed his,education at Stanford University. In 1917 he removed to Merced to take over the agency for the Dodge Brothers motor cars, and during the time of his residence in this section his strongest interests and associations have been in the community which he selected for a home.


The marriage of Mr. Doyle united him with Miss Helen Jones, a native of Porterville, Cal. Fraternally, Mr. Doyle is a member of Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. O. E.


Mr. Doyle takes great pride in his growing business, but finds time during the heated season to spend a few weeks in the open, camping beside a mountain stream and indulging his fondness for fishing.



Active in the Roman Catholic Church circles in Merced County, whose interests he has zealously upheld for twenty years, is Rev. Manuel Cordeiro, pastor of St. Anthony's Church in Atwater; he also serves the church of the Immaculate Conception at Buhach. He was born in Fenaes da Luz, Azores Islands, on May 13, 1879, a son of Anthony and Mary da Encarnacao Mello. His father died when Manuel was but two years old but the mother still makes her home in Fenaes da Luz. Father Cordeiro was educated in the schools of the Azores and attended Angra Seminary, where he took his work in the classics, theology and philosophy. He was ordained to the priest­hood on December 23, 1905, and was called to the San Francisco dio­cese by Archbishop Riordan. He was assistant pastor at Center­ville, Cal., for two years, then was called East and for over two years labored in St. Michael's and in Santo Christo churches, in Fall River; Our Lady of Lourdes, in Staunton; and St. John's, in New Bedford, all of the Fall River diocese in Massachusetts. Father Cordeiro then returned to California and for four years was assist­ant pastor at Santa Maria Parish. He was the first pastor of and served four years at Our Lady of Guadalupe, at Guadalupe, both in Santa Barbara County. During the late World War he served as chaplain at Balboa Park, San Diego, Cal., for eight months working among the Knights of Columbus. Then he was assistant pastor in Riverside and at the same time was chaplain at Marshfield Camp; also during this time he had charge of the Arlington Parish for seven months, during the illness of the priest in charge. After that he was appointed pastor at Elsinore, still retaining his position as chaplain. After these labors he was granted leave of absence and made a trip to his old home in the Azores Islands to visit his mother and remained there one year. Returning to California he was placed in charge of the school and church at Bakersfield; then his next appointment was pastor of Our Lady of Victory at Compton, Cal. In 1922 he came to Atwater as pastor of St. Anthony's, and the Immaculate Concep­tion at Buhach. This includes the towns of Livingston, Winton, Delhi, Hilmar, Amsterdam and Cressey. Thus he ministers to all the Portuguese of this part of Merced County.


In this connection it will be well to give a little history of the Catholic Churches in this district. St. Anthony's Parish, as it is now known, was started as the Immaculate Conception Parish, Buhach, in the diocese of Monterey and Fresno. The parish is a memorial to Rt. Rev. Bishop Henry da Silva, who organized it in 1908, as he was passing through on a visit.


The following year Rev. A. M. Souza was appointed pastor. He built the church and rectory at Buhach that same year, 1909. The first marriage solemnized in the church was on February 23, 1909, when Crespinus Stefani and Elizabeth Cor­della were united. The first baptism was on February 14, 1909, Blancha Rossi, daughter of David and Blanche (Fleming) Rossi. Rev. Fr. Joseph Cunha succeeded Fr. Souza in 1911. The latter founded the church in Atwater and in 1913 the building was erected. In December, 1913, Rev. Henrique A. Ribeiro took charge, and remained until November 14, 1914, when Rev. Manuel C. Grillo came to Atwater. He was succeeded by Father John Power in July, 1917 ; and in 1918 Rev. Abel Costa took charge and remained until 1922, when Father Cordeiro assumed the work of the parish. He changed the name to St. Anthony's. In 1922 the rectory was erected. The church is in a healthy condition and rapidly taking its place in the community.


In 1919 there was a movement started for a Catholic cemetery for St. Anthony's Church and the members of the church negotiated for five acres of land at Winton for that purpose. On 'February 3, 1920, the first burial was made when Maria Mattos was laid to rest. The cemetery is not yet officially recorded as a Catholic cemetery, although all of the conditions for which the property was purchased have been fulfilled. The committee in charge (in March, 1925) have not yet deeded the property to St. Anthony's parish.


Father Cordeiro is a Republican in politics and fraternally is identified with the Knights of Columbus, Third Degree of the San Diego Council. He is accorded a high place as a citizen for his efforts to coordinate his charge and in giving his best efforts and most unselfish endeavors to advance the general welfare of the locality where he resides.



One of the enterprising business men of Atwater, and manager of the Martha Washington Stores Inc., on Broadway, is Joseph V. Alves. He is one of the many men who have come from foreign countries and, beginning at the bottom of the ladder, have taken ad­vantage of the abundant opportunities which this country offers and have climbed to wealth and affluence. The only son and the youngest of two children he was born in Flores of the Azores Islands on. Decem­ber 25, 1882, a son of Antone R. and Mary (Alves) Vieira, farmers in the Azores. Mrs. Keaton of Fergus station is his sister. He re­ceived his education in the common schools of his native land and was reared on the small farm of his father. At the early age of fifteen he left the parental roof, in 1897, on a two-masted schooner to seek his fortune beyond the sea, and after a voyage of forty-one days landed in New London, and soon after came direct to California. He got work on ranches near Fresno at fifteen dollars a month. Later on,the Bloss ranch near Atwater he earned thirty dollars a month. After being in California about a year he found it difficult to get mail addressed to him because there were so many here by the name of Vieira. So he had his name changed, taking the maiden name of his mother. In 1916 he left the ranch to go into business as part owner of the Broadway Cash Store, which was succeeded in January, 1921, by the Martha Washington Store, and which carries a fine stock and is doing a good business. He owns the store building and also resi­dence and rental property in Atwater. He was naturalized in Mer­ced in 1905, and as a Republican has fulfilled the duty of a loyal American citizen. He has been secretary of the U. P. E. C. for four years and he belongs to the Buhach Council No. 32, I. D. E. S. He was married in Merced to Mary C. Vincent, a native of Oakland and daughter of Fred Vincent of Atwater. They have two sons, Charles V., who is married and has a daughter; and Arthur. Mr. Alves is highly respected for his integrity and strict attendance to his own affairs. He has been an eye-witness of the growth of Atwater from a population of less than 100 to over 1000 at the present time.



As superintendent of the J. G. Ruddle orchards and vineyards, Alan B. Martin is demonstrating his knowledge of horticulture and viticulture, gained through experience and first-hand information. He is a native son of Merced County, born on December 10, 1892, in the city of Merced, a son of Mr. and Mrs. C. D. Martin, of that city, natives of New York State, and Snelling, Merced County, respectively. His father and his grandfather Boss were well known civil engineers in California. Alan B. attended the Merced Gram­mar and High Schools, and after two and one-half years in the latter, left school to enter the employ of the old C. M. F. Store, remaining with them three years.


In August, 1918, he went into the U. S. Army, in the 12th In­fantry, and trained at Camp Fremont, was transferred to Camp Mills, and received his honorable discharge at the Presidio, San Fran­cisco, March 21, 1919. He had worked with his father on railway survey work, and he did surveying and engineering work with the troops while in the army. On leaving camp and returning to civilian life, Mr. Martin engaged in the ranching business, and in 1920-1921 he farmed in the Amsterdam district, on what is known as the Bore-land ranch, also having charge of a twenty-acre peach orchard at Buhach, belonging to his father. In the meantime he resided on the Merced River, and when the fruit development work on the Ruddle farm was started, in 1921, he was the man who did the first planting, setting out forty acres to vineyard, and he has since that time re­mained in charge of the work. The Ruddle ranch now being in a high state of clutivation and development, the property devoted to horticulture and viticulture embraces 1290 acres, of which 650 acres are in Thompson seedless grapes, from one to three years old, and 640 acres set to peaches and apricots.


An extensive nursery was built up to root the vines, and until 1923 was kept up ; it consisted at one time of 1,340,000 vine cuttings, and to get a better idea of the magnitude of the plantings, the work was done on so extensive a scale that if the plantings had been strung out in single file, they would have reached from the Merced River to Stockton, seventy miles as the crow flies. The value of this show place of fruit cultivation to the future development of Merced County is inestimable, for the Ruddles are giving a con­crete example of what can be done here in horticulture on a large scale, and are spreading the fame of the fertility of Merced soil to the far corners of the earth.



A man who is rapidly advancing to a competency by his keen per­ception and the improvement of opportunities, Joe A. Rodgers de­serves the credit of all who have witnessed his progress. The third of eight children, he was born near Sonora, Tuolumne County, on July 31, 1891. His parents, Antone A. and Anna ( Jacobs) Rodgers, were both natives of Flores, in the Azores; the father came to Amer­ica a poor boy and worked in the mines of Tuolumne County, saved his wages and bought land and stock and accumulated considerable wealth before he died in Merced on August 3, 1920. The mother still lives at Atwater, where they settled in 1892.


Joe went to the Franklin school and grew up on the farm, taking up the dairy business and alfalfa growing at Buhach. Near Chowchilla he was also associated with his parents in ranching on an extensive scale until the death of his father. With his share of the property left by his father he engaged in fruit raising and did a thriving business with watermelons and sweet potatoes. In 1919 he succeeded F. Valadon in a retail meat business on Front Street, Atwater, beginning in a small way, and by putting every effort into the business, he has made rapid strides and built up an excellent trade. In October, 1923, he opened a first-class shop on Broadway in Atwater. He owns the lot and building, 150 ft. by 25 ft. with fixtures, modern and complete as any retail shop in the Valley. He is joint owner of 113 acres, and a dairy and forty-five head of dairy cattle. Mr. Rodgers has accumu­lated his holdings by a judicious use of the money left him by his father and by his own efforts.


Mr. Rodgers was married in Atwater to Mary Furtado, a native of El Nido, Merced County. Her parents have been farmers in Mer­ced County since 1876. Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers have four children: Edna, Gilbert, Merle and Mary. The three oldest are pupils in the Atwater Grammar School.


He is a member of the Great Republic Life Insurance Co. since 1919. He is a Republican in politics and belongs to the Woodmen of the World and to the Atwater Pentacost Club Association, both in Atwater.



The name of John T. Allen is well known to the citizens of Mer­ced County and is synonymous with prosperity, thrift, honesty and integrity. From 1891 to 1918 he engaged in farming on a sixty­eight-acre ranch under the Miller & Lux canal. This property he sold in 1918 and put the money into an apartment house in Gustine and since that time has made his home in town. In 1922 he purchased seventy acres eight miles southwest of town and is developing it to walnuts; he has installed a six-inch pump with a sixteen h. p. gas engine for power, thus insuring an abundance of water for irrigation.


A native of California, John T. Allen was born at Sacramento on July 9, 1868, a son of John and Alice (Carroll) Allen, natives of Iowa and Montreal, Canada, respectively, the latter of Scotch descent. His father came across the plains to California and the mother via the Panama route; and they were married in Sacramento. John Allen, the father, was a teamster, hauling supplies to Shingle Springs, Sonora, San Andreas and other mining towns in early days; later in life he engaged in stock-raising and farming, first in Contra Costa County, and then in San Joaquin County near Banta. In the fall of 1881 the family moved to Merced County and located about eighteen miles south of Hill's Ferry, whre the father homesteaded a quarter section of land upon which he farmed the balance of his life, passing away at the age of eighty-two years; the mother passed away at her home in Oakland, Cal., aged eighty-one years. Five children were born of this union, namely: John T., our subject; James J., de­ceased; Alice, wife of Joseph Pfitzer ; Barbara, married Antone Pfit­zer; and Mrs. Ella Parker.


John T. Allen attended the Occidental Grammar School in Mer­ced County and was with his parents until 1891, when he leased a farm .on his own account. He soon purchased a half section of land in the Cottonwood district and with his brother James J. as partner, engaged in farming; after the dissolution of the partnership, Mr. Allen purchased thirty acres under the Miller & Lux canal, subse­quently thirty-eight acres were added and farming was carried on with good results. In 1918 he sold out and moved to the city of Gus-tine, where he built an eight-apartment building.


At Oakland, Cal., October 21, 1896, Mr. Allen was married to Miss Clara Belle De Mont, born at San Leandro, Cal., daughter of George and Caroline (Potter) De Mont, both natives of Michigan; her father is of French descent and accompanied his parents to Cali­fornia during the gold rush of 1860; the mother came to California when five years old and the parents were married in Oakland. In 1881 the De Mont family removed to Dutch Corners, Stanislaus County, and there farmed a quarter section of land; here the father spent the balance of his life, retiring about eighteen years ago. He and his wife now make their home at San Leandro, aged seventy-four and seventy-two years, respectively. There were eight children in the De Mont family: Joseph; Mary and John, twins ; Clara Belle, the wife of our subject; Carrie ; Claudia ; Vivian; and Byron, deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Allen are the parents of two daughters : Jeanette, Mrs. F. F. Latta, who has two daughters, Monna Star, and Nedra Marie ; Elma, Mrs. T. S. Latta, who has two children, Verne Claire and John Thomas. Mr. Allen is a Democrat in politics and has served as trustee of the Gustine High School ; with his wife he is a member of the Presbyterian Church of Gustine.


A business which was established at Atwater in 1918 and keeps up with the steady growth of. the town, in fact keeps ahead of it by anticipating the wants of the people, is the Atwater Plumbing and Sheet Metal Works owned by Don P. Crookham. He employs two men in the conduct of his business and has unbounded faith in the future of the town as a good place for his business.


The eldest of four sons, Don P. was born in Phillipsburg, Kans., on April 28, 1884. The other boys are, Earl; Warren, who has been with our subject since he started his business; and Roe. Earl and Roe are also residents of California. The father, Perry J. Crookham, in his younger days was a school teacher, but for over forty years he has been a successful contractor and builder in Kansas and Missouri. During the World War he was engaged in building dry docks on the Atlantic Coast for the United States government. His wife was Olive King, born in Iowa ; she died in April, 1904. Don P. was edu­cated in the public schools and grew up to learn the trade of carpenter with his father. At the age of eighteen he had charge of a crew of twenty men and was engaged in railroad work for six years. In 1908 he came West to Los Angeles and spent four years in the traffic department of the Los Angeles Electric railroad; then he was foreman for the Richard-Neustadt Construction Company, and was also employed by the Selig Polyscope Company, spending two years altogether with these concerns. In 1915 he was interested in a twenty-acre ranch at Winton and came north at that time. He was employed by the California State Highway Commission in the bridge building department in Mariposa County, only to leave them to engage in business for himself at Atwater.


Mr. Crookham was married in 1905 in Norton, Kans., to Miss Margaret Rodell, the eldest of three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Rodell, now of British Colony, Merced County. She was reared in Kansas and was a school teacher in that State. They have seven children: Russell, in the Merced High School, class of 1925 ; Paul, in the class of 1926 ; Doris and Mildred, grammar school pupils ; and• Helen, Wayne and Norma Lee. Mr. Crookham is a charter member of the Atwater Camp, Woodmen of the World; also of the Atwater Pentacost Club Association, and of the Atwater Cham­ber of Commerce. He is a member of the Atwater volunteer fire department and is a supporter of all public movements to keep At­water on the map.



As far as lies in the power of any one individual Gust T. Pappas illustrates in his life the dominant characteristic of the ancient and honorable race from which he sprung. "He who does the best his circumstances allow, does well, acts nobly; angels could no more." It is no small achievement for a foreigner, unacquainted with our language, to come here with limited means and in a few years estab­lish the leading business in his line in a thriving city like Merced and win general respect and honor for his public spirit and interest in every movement that promises to make for the progress and welfare of the community.


Gust T. Pappas, proprietor of the French Grocery Company, in Merced, is a native of Greece, born in May, 1888. His parents, Theodore and Asfacia Pappas, are still living in their native land. The father was in the grocery business but is at present retired. That the son should follow the business of his father might be ex­pected, but it was not until after he had encountered varied experi­ence in various places. His early education was acquired in the public schools, after which he was employed in a drug store in Constanti­nople. As a foreigner, under the Turkish law, he was not permitted to extend his business outside of chemicals. After five years he re­turned to Greece to go into the grocery business. The lure of the great West was drawing him as it has so many of his countrymen, and 1907 found him in the State of Washington, where he found occupation in various places until 1910, when he went to San Francisco and engaged in a grocery business under the name of The French Grocery Company, until 1919, when he came to Merced and established a branch of the San Francisco store in company with P. Krekos, whom he eventually bought out; he is now the sole owner. It is one of the finest stores of the kind in California.


Mr. Pappas married Miss Anna Etchegaray. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and of the Lions Club. As a loyal Ameri­can he is a Republican. He is devoted to his business and to the interests of Merced City and County.



A young man who occupies a prominent position in society in At­water, and who is highly esteemed for his enterprise and business integrity, is Bennett M. Johnston, the youngest child of W. H. and Clara Johnston, whose sketch is given in another place in this book. He was born in Berryessa Valley, Napa County, on May 17, 1898, and was educated in the common schools and in the Merced High School. He was reared on the ranch near Atwater. Soon after leav­ing the school room, in 1918, he engaged in the dray and transfer business and made a splendid success of it, developing the Atwater Transfer Co., and operating a fleet of five motor trucks and employ­ing five men steadily. He dealt in hay, coal and wood, and his trucks made bi-weekly trips to Stockton with produce, returning with freight for local merchants. In January, 1925, Mr. Johnston sold his dray business to devote his time to the office of peace officer of Atwater, to which position he had been elected in 1922.


Bennett M. Johnston was married on January 17, 1923, to Miss Margaret Howard, daughter of Anne Howard, of Arbuckle. She was born in Winters, Yolo County, and was in charge of the Arbuckle public library. Mrs. Johnston is one of the charter members of the Atwater Women's Club. Mr. Johnston is owner of valuable realty holdings in Atwater. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. 0. E., both at Merced; and of the Atwater Booster Club.



A by-product of the dairy ranch that is now being produced in large quantities is powdered milk, which is shipped all over the world and is used extensively in making cakes, ice cream and confec­tions of many kinds. One of the largest plants in the world for producing powdered milk is that owned and operated by the Golden State Products Company at Los Banos, this being only one of their twenty plants in the country. The officers of the company are: C. E. Gray, president; B. T. Tognazzi, vice-president, both of San Francisco; and T. E. Day, of Oakland, general superintendent of plant operations. The Los Banos plant is a $200,000 three-story reinforced concrete structure, equipped with the most modern machinery and operated by electric power, with three boilers, each of 150 horse power, to produce the steam necessary for sterilization, etc.; and there is one auxiliary turbine generator in case the electric power fails. The daily output of the factory is 12,000 pounds of powdered milk, and 1500 gallons of sweet cream. The plant never closes, but runs twenty-four hours a day. $28,000 is paid annually for transporting the cream to its various destinations; the monthly pay­roll for employes is $6000; and to the dairymen $100,000 is paid out. This plant is conceded by experts to be the most complete and modern milk separating plant west of the Rocky Mountains.


The manager of the Los Banos plant is Harold Ostergard, a native of Denmark, where he was born in Jutland, August 21, 1875. He was reared in a dairy country and learned that business thor­oughly, following that and merchandising in Copenhagen until 1905, when he came to California. He was first employed in the Danish Creamery in Fresno, and later worked in Portland, Ore., in the same line of work. He then became manager of the Colusa Butter Com­pany; and still later of the Golden Creamery Company, in Siskiyou County. From this place he went to the Grizzly Bluff Creamery, in Humboldt County, as buttermaker. Being now thoroughly grounded in all branches of the business, Mr. Ostergard organized the Siskiyou Creamery Company, in Scott Valley, Siskiyou County, he being one of the owners and continuing there until selling out in 1918, to be­come the manager for the California Central Creameries, in Los Banos, operating a plant leased from the Miller and Lux interests. The business grew under the supervision of Mr. Ostergard; this company was taken over by the Golden State Products Company and the business grew until the company was handling 100,000 pounds of milk daily in a small separator plant erected in 1919. Chemical laboratory tests are made of all milk and cream products under the supervision of expert chemists. The personnel of the Los Banos plant consists of the following: Harold Ostergard, manager; Carl Hultgren, field manager; H. J. Preddy, chief engineer; and W. H. Roberts, office manager.


Mr. Ostergard married Elizabeth M. Sacry, a native Califor­nian, and they have a daughter, Iris. Mr. Ostergard belongs to Los Banos Lodge No. 312, F. & A. M., of which he is a Past Master, and he is a member of the Eastern Star. He is a director of the Bank of Los Banos, which financial institution has been of untold assistance to the ranchers and business men of Los Banos and vicinity.



 Among the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of Merced, Fred K. Groves holds a position of prominence and influence. A man of superior talent and business ability, he has been a dominant power in advancing the agricultural interests of this section of Mer­ced County, and by intelligent effort and wise thrift has come to independence. Mr. Groves first came to Merced County to look after the interests of his clients and found here such a promising out­look that he settled here permanently. A son of F. K. and Mary E. (Hull) Groves, he was born at Brookfield, Ohio, June 17, 1878. The mother was a granddaughter of Isaac Hull, commander of the Constitution, "Old Ironsides," in the War of 1812. The father, F. K. Groves, was engaged in the mercantile business in Ohio until 1886, when the family removed to western Kansas and there he engaged in the real estate business until 1901, when the family came to Cali­fornia. The father, who retired to Pasadena, Cal., passed on March 1, 1924, aged eighty-three years; the mother passed away in 1900.


Fred K. Groves attended the public schools in Kansas, then en­tered Knox College at Galesburg, Ill., from which he was graduated in 1901. Soon after finishing his college course the family came West to California and located at San Francisco, where Mr. Groves found employment with the Examiner, remaining with this news­paper only a short time; he then became connected with the Inter­national Commercial Agency and for seven years sold law books in the northwest. He resigned his position and removed to Los An­geles, and with his father engaged in the real estate business, special­izing on farm lands. In the course of their business transactions they sold considerable land in Merced County to their clients, and also invested their own money in this section. In 1916, Mr. Groves re­moved to Merced to look after their property and was on one of their ranches at Snelling for a time. On account of having had military training at Knox College and considerable work in athletics, he enlisted for service as athletic director during the World War and went overseas with the First Division ; he drove a truck over 10,000 miles and his service extended over a period of about ten months. Returning to his home in Merced he again resumed his real estate business, which affords him a comfortable competence.


The marriage of Mr. Groves united him with Miss Sibyl Jose­phine Morrison, of Minnesota, and they are the parents of one son, Fred K., Jr. Mr. Groves was the first president of the local real estate board and is now a director of the State Real Estate Association. He is independent in his political views. Fraternally, he belongs to the Elks. He is a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Merced Rotary Club.



It is in youth that the life of a man is marked out, his future course decided upon and his choice as to good or evil made, and to the work of instructing and guiding the boys of Merced and vicinity, Conrad Jongewaard is devoting his time, energies and thoughts. As the con­scientious and capable secretary of the local Y. M. C. A., Mr. Jonge­waard is accomplishing an outstanding work among the boys and young men of the community. During October, 1919, State repre­sentatives of the Y. M. C. A. were in Merced and held a conference with several of the local citizens and outlined the advantages of hav­ing a Y. M. C. A. for the boys and young men of the city and environs. The men became so interested in the proposition that within a few days sufficient funds were subscribed to cover the budget for two years. After a board of directors had been chosen the next thing to do was to employ a secretary. Conrad Jongewaard, who had formerly been a Y. M. C. A. secretary in Chicago, and only recently had been discharged from the Navy, was making a visit in the State and he was secured as secretary, taking up his duties November 1, 1919. The Y. M. C. A. has found a definite place in the community to serve. It seeks to supplement and strengthen the home, the church, the school, and the municipality in their relations to the social, recrea­tional, educational, moral and spiritual life. The Association has become a clearing house for community cooperative work.


There are certain .activities which are carried on through which it seeks to accomplish its purpose for existence and to make the largest possible contribution to the welfare of the boys. The Y. M. C. A. is ever challenging the constructive forces of the community to a co‑operative attack on all that prevents the highest expression of community life. Mr. Jongewaard is peculiarly fitted for the responsible position he is so admirably filling; he is endowed with more than ordi­nary intelligence, gifted with sound judgment and a frank and genial disposition that appeals to boys and young men; all in all, Merced is to be congratulated on their choice of a Y. M. C. A. secretary.


Mr. Jongewaard was born in Sioux Center, Iowa, January 17, 1890, a son of R. C. and Jennie (Ver Ploeg) Jongewaard. The father, R. C. Jongewaard, was a stock-raiser and cattleman; he is now deceased, while the mother is still living.


Mr. Jonegwaard completed the grammar and high school courses in his native State; then he entered Hope College in Holland, Mich., and after his graduation he entered the University of Chicago, and for two years trained as a Y. M. C. A worker and previous to the outbreak of the World War was engaged in this work. On December 13, 1917, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy, and after seven months of service was promoted to ensign; he was discharged from the service on July 12, 1919, and the following November took up his work as secre­tary of the Y. M. C. A. in Merced.


The marriage of Mr. Jongewaard united him with Miss Lydia De Mots, a native of Iowa ; they were playmates in their childhood. Mrs. Jongewaard was killed in an automobile accident when her mother, two uncles and an aunt met their death. Mr. Jongewaard is a Republican in politics and belongs to the American Legion of Merced.



Since 1920 Charles Rufus Thompson has been an active factor in the material development of Merced County. He first came to the county as superintendent of construction for the California Packing Corporation on their 4000-acre ranch at Tuttle; later he went into the general contracting business for himself. His father, Charles Thomp­son, was a native of Scotland and was married in Detroit, Mich., to Miss Annie Eliza Deering, a native of Massachusetts, and together they came to California in 1867 and settled in Tulare County, where their son, Charles Rufus, was born on August 13, 1874. The father engaged in farming all his life and passed away February 14, 1923 ; his wife preceded him in 1907.


Charles Rufus Thompson received his education in the grammar and high schools of Tulare County; he then assisted his father on the farm until he was twenty years old, when he learned the carpen­ter's trade. Later he moved to Exeter and was there in business for eleven years, during which time he built many business blocks, homes and packing houses, being one of the pioneer contractors of the town. As above stated he located in Merced County in 1920, where he has since resided and now enjoys a lucrative business. He erected the John Muir grammar school building and many of the finer homes in Merced.


The marriage of Mr. Thompson united him with Miss Mabel Scoggins, one of California's native daughters; her father is a native son of California and is still living at the age of seventy years. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are the parents of three children: Pauline is now Mrs. Albert Hall, of Sacramento; Charles D. married Miss Cleo Parr and resides in Merced; and Evelyn Adell. Mr. Thompson is a Republican in politics and while residing in Tulare County served as justice of the peace. Fraternally he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of Merced.



Numbered among the intelligent and respected citizens of Merced County is Walter A. Miller, a man of unlimited energy and perseverance, who, mainly by his untiring industry and wise management, has succeeded in building up a fine dairy business as the proprietor of the Sanitary Milk Company. He owns his own ranch, on which he has 170 milch cows, and employs fifteen men in handling the output, he makes delivery of his products by auto truck. Mr. Miller was born in Germany on November 2, 1883, a son of Walter and Josephine Miller, both natives of the same country. The family came to the United States in 1884, when our subject was only six months old; the father was in the dairy business in Pennsylvania ; later the parents returned to their former home in Germany.


Walter A. Miller received his educational training from private teachers and at an early age assisted his father in the dairy business. When his parents returned to Germany he came to California and worked on a dairy in Fresno County; and later went into business for himself at Lindsay, Cal., and was thus engaged until 1918, when he came to Merced County and established his present dairy which has greatly prospered under his able direction.


The marriage of Mr. Miller united him with Miss Florinda Souza and they are the parents of one daughter, Dorothy. Fra­ternally, Mr. Miller is identified with the Eagles and Moose of Merced and politically he is a Republican.



As proprietor of the Stevinson Hotel and of the Stevinson-Tur­lock auto stage line, the latter operated under the regulations of the State Railroad Commission, George H. Blount of Stevinson, Mer­ced County, is making his influence felt for the good of his adopted county and is reaping a benefit for himself as well. A native of Can­ada, he was born at Trenton, in the Province of Ontario, on July 10, 1875, a son of Josiah C. and Rebecca (Losie) Blount. The father died, in 1911, in the Stevinson Colony, aged seventy-three years, and the mother married again and is now the wife of Otto Heinze, of the Stevinson Colony. The Blount family went from the Province of Ontario to Saskatchewan, and from there came down to Wisconsin in 1891, where the father became a citizen of the United States.


George H. Blount is the fifth child in a family of nine, six of whom are still living, and he was educated in the public schools of Canada and Wisconsin, attending only one winter in the last-named State. He came with the family, upon their removal to California in 1893, and settled at Nipomo, San Luis Obispo County; later going to the Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County, thence to Lompoc, and from there to Mendocino County, where he remained for eight years. Then he accompanied the family to Contra Costa County, where he engaged with the Standard Oil Company as a pipe fitter. In 1908 he came to the Stevinson Colony and here he has been an ac­tive factor in helping to build up the locality. Besides operating the hotel and stage line, Mr. Blount also owns and runs the two school busses that carry the pupils to and from the Stevinson Colony to the Hilmar Union High School at Hilmar.


The marriage of George H. Blount with Miss Lelia Finley was celebrated in Lompoc on March 23, 1898. Her parents were the well-known pioneers A. W. and Elmira (Hastings) Finley, natives of Missouri. The father of A. W. Finley, Asa Wallace Finley, was a veteran of the Mexican War. A. W. Finley's father-in-law, David Campbell, started for California with a train of covered wagons from Missouri, in the spring of 1846; at first it was a part of the ill-fated Donner party, but was separated from that train at Omaha, where David Campbell became the captain and brought the train safely through to the coast, being guided over the mountains by Kit Carson. Upon arriving in California the Campbells settled at Fort San Jose in October, 1846. The father of Mrs. Blount, A. W. Finley, was only two years of age when his parents came with the Campbell train and he is now making his home with his daughter and her husband. He is hale and hearty at the age of eighty-one. The town of Camp­bell, in Santa Clara County, was named for Benjamin Campbell of this branch of. the Campbell family. Mrs. Blount was born in Hol­lister, San Benito County and attended the public schools there. Mr. and Mrs. Blount have had nine children: Herbert and Charles both died in infancy ; Ethel, married Gavin Wilson of Richmond, Cal., an ex-navy man who served in the World War, and they have one child, Elizabeth Ann ; Glena Ana, a student in the Stockton Commercial College; Georgia Isabel, wife of George J. Holm, an ex-service man, who is employed by the Shell Oil Co. at Crow's Landing; Vyren Darrel, William Vernon, Ruth Elizabeth and George Lloyd, all pupils in the grammar school. Mrs. Blount is the local correspondent for the Merced Sun-Star and the Hilmar Enterprise. Mr. and Mrs. Blount are members of the Christian Church at Stevinson. Politically they cast their votes for Democratic candidates, and Mr. Blount served on the County Central Committee in 1924. For the past eight' years Mrs. Blount has served on the election board.



The name of Curtis Harvey Castle, Jr., is held in high regard in Merced County, not only as the son of one of the best known and most highly esteemed physicians and surgeons of Merced and a man who represented his district in the 55th Congress of the United States from 1896 to 1898, but also for his own public spirit and deep interest in the progress of both the city and county of Merced. His father, Curtis Harvey Castle, Sr., is mentioned at length on another page in this history.


Curtis Harvey Castle, Jr., was born at Point Arena, Mendocino County, Cal., in December, 1883, and he was educated in the public schools of the State, attending the high school in Merced for three years. After leaving school he put in two years in Death Valley in mining; then he went to Dinuba, Tulare County, and purchased land and improved a vineyard, remaining for three years. His next move was to Los Angeles and for a year he was in the employ of Barker Brothers, furniture dealers. He then worked for the Southern Pacific Railway at Bakersfield for a year, but returned to his ranch and re­mained for six years. His next business venture was in Merced, where he bought an interest in the Merced Drug Company, but sold out after four months. He then went to Old Mexico and bought a hundred acres of land and remained there for twelve months, but came back to his Dinuba ranch, where he remained until 1915, when he returned to Merced and engaged in the manufacture of ice cream and did a retail candy business, operating under the name of The Castle for six years. In 1919 he started the Castle Ice Cream Com­pany, now known as the Acme Ice Cream Company, though he still retains stock in the concern.


Mr. Castle was united in marriage in Tulare County, with Mabel Pearl Brewer, born at Traver, that county; and they have a daughter, Virginia. Fraternally, Mr. Castle belongs to the Knights of Pythias; and he is a member of the Lions Club of Merced. Politically, he is a Democrat. He is indulging in one of his hobbies, that of raising high grade pigeons, and at his home near the edge of Merced has some fine birds.



Although without means or influential friends, Soren Husman possessed the cheerful optimism of youth, and, when he had com­pleted the common schools in his native country, started out for himself at the age of sixteen. He was born in Jylland, Denmark, on February 19, 1881, the son of J. C. Husman, who was twice mar­ried. By the first wife there were three children: Anders, Kath­erine (deceased), and Helena. Of his second union, when he married Sina Sorensen, there were ten children, viz.: Maria, Soren, Kirs­tine, Clara, Alfred (deceased), Julia and Alfreda, twins (deceased), Katherina, Alfred and Bror.


Soren Husman could well be spared from home and after he had earned enough money for his passage to America, we find him in Staplehurst, Seward County, Neb., in 1903, where he was employed at farm labor for a year. In 1904, he came to Watsonville, Cal., worked for a year on a ranch,- then went to the Hawaiian Islands and was employed in a dairy there about a year. In 1906, he re­turned to California and found work with A. P. Miller, in a dairy north of Newman, Stanislaus County. He then worked for others, but came down into Merced County in the Clay district. By 1908, he had saved enough money from his wages to make a payment on a tract of forty acres in the Romero school district under the canal and here he carried on a dairy until 1923, when he engaged in rais­ing turkeys. He owns a hill ranch of 480 acres in the Crittenden tract, a part of the Barnes ranch, capable of pasturing 100 head of cattle. He came to live on his ranch in 1908, leveled and checked it for irrigation and erected his house and farm buildings.


On March 6, 1913, Mr. Husman was married to Astrid Ebbe­sen, born in Jylland, Denmark, the daughter of Hans and Anna Ebbesen. The father was a native of Kal'vslund, Denmark, and was a teacher in the schools of Stendrup. He could trace the Ebbesen family back 400 years and some members of the family were occupying the same farm on which he was born, always farming, Hans being the only exception. The mother was Anna Hansen, and was born in Jylland. Astrid was the eldest child, the others being Helga Dagmar, Ebbe, Thyra, Jens, Einar, Axel and Gudron. Mrs. Hus­man received a good education and taught school several years prior to coming to California, in 1913. Mr. and Mrs. Husman have six children: James, Hans, Alfred, Selma, Elmer and Irwin. Mr. Husman is independent in politics, voting for the best men and meas­ures regardless of party. He has been a trustee of the Romero school for several years and is a man always to be relied upon for advanc­ing the best interests of his adopted country.



Among the successful and enterprising professional men of Mer­ced County, is Edward Bickmore, who has won an enviable reputation throughout this section as an able lawyer. The son of a California pioneer, he was born near Watsonville, Santa Cruz County, Cal., on July 27, 1876. His father, Thomas Bickmore, when a mere lad helped to drive oxen across the plains to California in 1852. The family settled in the vicinity of Los Angeles, at El Monte. When a young man, Thomas Bickmore came north through the West Side of the San Joaquin Valley to Watsonville, where later he farmed and raised fruit. In 1854 Miss Martha Cullumber left her home in Texas for California, and in 1866 she was married to Thomas Bick­more at Watsonville, and the home was established there. Thomas Bickmore was a veteran of the Civil War, having served in the Union Army ; he is now deceased; the mother is still living, residing at Hollister.


The public schools of Santa Cruz County furnished the early education of Edward Bickmore; this was supplemented by the study of law in a private office. In April, 1908 he was admitted to prac­tice law by the State bar and opened an office and engaged in the practice of his profession in Watsonville ; then for four years he maintained an office in Los Banos ; and during 1913 established a law office in Merced, where he has since been engaged in building up a lucrative practice.


The marriage of Mr. Bickmore united him with Miss Alice G. Bourges, a native daughter of Monterey County, and one son, Thomas E., has been born of this union. Fraternally, Mr. Bickmore is a member of the Odd Fellows, the Native Sons of the Golden West, and the Woodmen of the World. In line with his profession he is a mem­ber of the State Bench and Bar Association. While C. H. McCray was in the United States service in 1918, Mr. Bickmore served as deputy district attorney. He takes a keen interest in his profession and is a booster for Merced County. While not active in public affairs, yet he is intensely interested in the growth and advancement of his section of California.



The genealogy of the Bone family is traced back to England and in Southampton, Harold Bone was born on December 26, 1886, a son of Frederick and Olive (Summers) Bone, both natives of Eng­land. The father was a gardener by trade and came to California in 1889, settling in Merced County, where he followed his calling. When our subject was a lad of four years the family left England and joined the father in California. The father is now deceased, but the mother is still living.


Harold Bone received his education in the schools of Merced. While still in his teens he was apprenticed to learn the plumber's trade, which he later followed for ten years; then from 1915 to 1921 he was engaged in the fire insurance business, winning success by his characteristic perseverance 'and industry. In 1922 he was appointed to complete an unexpired term as justice of the peace, occasioned by the death of F. H. Farrar, of Township No. 2, in Merced; he gave such thorough satisfaction that at the election that fall he was elected unanimously to the position for a term of four years. His nature is genial and his intelligence broad, substantial and helpful, thereby becoming not only a popular official, but one who can be thoroughly relied upon in all matters pertaining to his office. Mr. Bone has never married. Fraternally, he is a member of the Elks and the Wood­men of the World.



From early youth to the present day, Henry F. Burke, who has the agency of the Paige and Jewett cars at Merced, has always been interested in and operating some sort of instrument or appliance for locomotion. The son of Henry F. and Frances (Bittell) Burke, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio, February 11, 1881, and attended the local public school until he was thirteen years of age, when he became a jockey for two years. He then served an apprenticeship as a machinist for three years, after which he went into the bicycle business, all in Cleveland. As an amateur rider he won two prizes, riding to Geneva and return, but when he sold these prizes he was rated as a professional, which he practiced for three years in connection with the bicycle business. He won a number of century medals for riding 100 miles a day. In 1889 he was engaged in working on the first Winton car built. After that he was in the Buick and the Packard factories, and in the Kissel factory in Wisconsin two years. Through the succeeding years he worked in various States, North and South. For a year and a half he was in business in Louisiana, and then went to Texas. From there he came to California and in 1920 located in Merced. He worked on a salary for a time and then engaged in business for himself. He started in a modest way on October 20, 1921, and now employs five men in his present location at 345 Seven­teenth Street, with the agency of the Paige and Jewett cars.

Mr. Burke was united in marriage with Miss Emma Nelson, of Louisiana, who shares with him the high regard of many friends. Mr. Burke is not tied to any party; he votes for the men and measures which seem to be for the best interest to the greatest number. He is a member of the Moose fraternity. He is fond of outdoor life and motoring, and made the record from Merced to Yosemite Valley on June 1, 1923, driving in a blinding storm, in three hours and twenty-six minutes. Highly respected and public-spirited, he has won a place in the foremost ranks of representative citizens.


The well known contracting painter and interior decorator of Merced, Jerry J. Jirsa, was born in Bohemia, now Czecho-Slovakia, on March 25, 1877. He came with his parents to the United States in 1880, and located in Chicago, where he was educated in the public schools. He then learned the trade of painter, and after completing his apprenticeship, took up the painting business in Chicago and fol­lowed it there for a time. He then went to Idaho Falls, Idaho, and engaged in his work there for ten years.

In March, 1920, Mr. Jirsa located in Merced, and for the past two years has been engaged in business for himself, and has met with the success which always comes to a man who knows his work thoroughly and is interested in the artistic as well as the commercial side of it. He has painted the new gymnasium at the high school, the auditorium, and the cafeteria at the manual arts school, as well as a number of residences and apartments, and he specializes in interior decorating, paper work, etc. During the busy season he employs a number of men, but does all the planning and laying out of the work himself, and his years of experience have made him expert in his line, getting the best results obtainable, and adding to the pleasure in life derived from beautiful surroundings.

The marriage of Mr. Jirsa united him with Miss Nellie Lymath, and seven children have blessed their union: Robert, Louise, Vera, Helen, Madalene, Leslie, and Mildred. Fraternally, Mr. Jirsa belongs to the Modern Woodmen and to the Eagles. He is deeply interested in Merced and Merced County, and shows his public spirit in supporting civic and moral advancement in his community, and is most highly esteemed as a citizen of real worth.


Whatever of success has been achieved by Joseph Patrick Adams may be attributed to his own keen and capable judgment and his indus­trious application to business. For the past six years he has been dealing in washing machines; while making this his specialty he also sells the Eureka vacuum cleaner and the Grand Electric Ironer, manu­factured in Detroit, Mich. His store is located at 409 Seventeenth Street, Merced, and here he is headquarters for hemstitching, pleat­ing, button-making, etc. In Dublin, Ireland, he was born August 9, 1888, a son of Charles and Elizabeth (Ellis) Adams, both natives of the same country. Joseph was six years old when he accompanied his parents to the United States; they settled in Philadelphia, Pa., where he attended the Sisters' School. While still in .his teens he became con­nected with Ringling Brothers Circus and remained with them for seven years, and for one year he was with Forepaugh & Sells Circus. In 1911 he came to California and located in Fresno, where he became an employee of the San Joaquin Light & Power Company, remaining for five years in their employ. In 1919 he engaged in his present business, in Merced, which has proven a successful venture.

The marriage of Mr. Adams united him with Miss Margaret Cook, a native of Kansas, but reared in Fresno, Cal. Four children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Adams: Jesse is the eldest; then comes Jane, who is musically inclined and frequently appears in public in Merced; Kathryn is the third; and the youngest is Robert. Mr. Adams is prominent fraternally, being affiliated with the Benevo­lent Protective Order of Elks, all branches of the Knights of Pythias, and the Woodmen of the World, all of Merced; politically he is independent in his selection of candidates to hold offices.


Although a young man, Charles W. Reuter has become well estab­lished in Merced as one of the representative business men of the city. His birth occurred in Merced, November 17, 1886, a son of George and Margaret (Martin) Reuter. George Reuter settled in Merced County about forty years ago, and operated one of the lead­ing tonsorial parlors in the City of Merced for many years. Both parents are now deceased.

Charles W. Reuter received a public school education in Merced and after his school days were over he learned the carriage trimming and furniture business and followed it for eight years; then for three years he was in the garage business and gradually worked into his present line. At first he established a vulcanizing business, then put in a stock of automobile accessories and at the present time carries the largest stock in this line in the city and employs the services of five men.

The marriage of Mr. Reuter united him with Miss Julia Collins and one child, Catherine, was born of this union. Mrs. Reuter is now deceased. Mr. Reuter is a stanch Republican. Fraternally, he belongs to the Elks, the Native Sons of the Golden West, and the U. P. E. C. He is a member of the local Chamber of Commerce.


A progressive business man of Merced is found in L. C. Gardner, more familiarly known as "Rube" Gardner, a nickname acquired during his fifteen years of active connection with the baseball leagues of our nation. He first engaged in professional baseball in 1904, and, with the exception of two years, continued with decided success until 1919, when he engaged in business in Merced. First he conducted an auto service station at the corner of Sixteenth and M Streets for three years, then moved to his new location on Seventeenth and M Streets, where he carries a complete line of service supplies and auto­mobile tires. He was born in Huntington, Tenn., on November 5, 1883, a son of Daniel and Mollie Gardner, farmer folk. The mother is now deceased, while the father is still living.

L. C. Gardner was reared on the home farm in Tennessee and attended public school in Huntington; he was also engaged in the grocery business in his native state for a time. At the age of twenty-one he took up professional baseball and for four years played with the southern league ; then he went to Panama as United States deputy collector of customs and remained in this capacity for two years, when he again took up baseball, coming to the Coast League in 1912, and was with the Oakland Club until 1919. His career as a baseball player was distinguished by marked ability and he won an enviable reputation as a successful player. Mr. Gardner employs the most modern methods in the operation of his business, which is growing steadily under his capable supervision.

The marriage of Mr. Gardner united him with Miss Emma Story, a native of Savannah, Tenn., and they are the parents of one son, Jack, born at Panama in 1909. Mr. Gardner is a public-spirited citizen who supports men and measures calculated to advance the prosperity of his community. Fraternally he is a member of the Elks and the Knights of Pythias; and he belongs to the Merced Cham­ber of Commerce.


Among Merced's native sons is attorney Hugh K. Landram, a man endowed with a large amount of vim and energy, who has won for himself a notable position among the lawyers of this prosperous city. He is a son of an esteemed pioneer family. His father, Carter Landram, was a prominent citizen of Merced, born in Macon County, Mo., April 13, 1840. After a long and useful life he passed away on March 2, 1924. The mother of our subject passed away in 1896.

The birth of Hugh K. Landram occurred on January 1, 1885, and he was reared and educated in Merced. After completing the grammar school course he entered high school, from which he was graduated in 1903 ; then he went to Lebanon, Tenn., where he at­tended the Cumberland University, from which he was graduated in 1907, with the degrees of B. S. and LL. B. He took one year of postgraduate work at the University of Michigan; then returning to Tennessee he took the bar examination and was admitted to practice in July, 1908. The following fall he returned to California and was admitted to the bar of California in October of the same year. It was but natural that his thoughts turned to his native city in which to begin the practice of his profession, and in Merced he became associated with F. G. Ostrander. The association was carried on suc­cessfully until 1912, when Mr. Landram, on account of failing health, retired and discontinued the practice of law for three years. In January, 1915, he again opened offices in Merced and one year later became associated with J. J. Griffin; this association was terminated at the death of Mr. Griffin in December, 1921. On July 1, 1919 Mr. Landram was appointed district attorney of Merced County to complete the term of C. W. Croop, who resigned, and this appointment covered a period of two and a half years.

The first marriage of Mr. Landram united him with Miss Rubye Keck, a native of Tennessee. She passed away in 1912. In 1919, Mr. Landram was married the second time, Miss Charlotte Stockird, a native of Merced, becoming his bride. Fraternally, Mr. Landram is a member of the Masons and the Elks; he belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and to the Rotary Club. Since 1919 he has served as a trustee of the Merced High School. Mr. Landram actively supports all measures that advance the interest of the people of his native county.


As the proprietor of a cement contracting business in Merced William E. Bailey has built up an important trade in his line. The business was inaugurated by Elton F. Bailey, the father of our sub­ject, in 1911, and one year later William E. took over the active management of the business, which has steadily increased with the passing of the years. His birth occurred in San Francisco, Cal., on May 12, 1885, a son of Elton F. and Emma (Conklin) Bailey. The father is also a native son, born in Placerville, Cal., and a son of a very early pioneer, who located in that section of California. Both parents are still living, Elton F. being associated with his son in the cement works.

William E. Bailey attended public school in San Francisco and, as his father before him was a cement contractor, he began to learn the business at an early age and has grown up in it. During the World War he was employed as a mechanic in merchant marine work; after the war he returned to Merced, having previously located here in 1912, and resumed his cement contract work. He had the contract for the cement work on the Doyle Garage, the Gateway Garage, the postoflice building and the building adjoining, the warehouse of the Merced Hardware Company, the Merced Creamery building, the Galen Clark School, the Keystone Hardware building, the John Muir School, and the Livingston High School. He (lid the cement work on the cafeteria, the manual arts building, and the auditorium of the high school, and the creamery floors at Atwater. Mr. Bailey guarantees all of his work to be first class in every particular and employs only high grade workmen.

The marriage of Mr. Bailey united him with Miss Pauline Miller, a native of Ohio. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Fraternal Brotherhood of Merced and in politics votes the Republican ticket.


Agriculture has been the life occupation of Thomas Burton Strib­ling, Jr., for he was only fourteen years old when he determined to make this line his life's work. In 1911 he established the Stribling Nursery which he operated alone for ten years; then in 1921, he be­came associated with Ivan Lilley and the firm now operates under the name of Lilley & Stribling Nursery, and they have succeeded in build­ing up a prosperous business. Mr. Stribling was born at Granite Spring, Mariposa County, Cal., on August 28, 1895, a son of Thomas Burton and Mary Lavina (Halstead) Stribling, both natives of Cali­fornia, and still living. The grandparents of our subject crossed the plains to California in an early day.

Thomas Burton Stribling, Jr., attended the public schools in Mari­posa, Merced and Stanislaus Counties, with three years in high school. During vacation periods he worked in a nursery and started his own business in 1911 in Merced.

The marriage of Mr. Stribling united him with Miss Eugenia Inez Cabral, and they are the parents of three children: Willis An­thony, Burt Lee and Ivan LeRoy. Mr. Stribling served for three months during the World War and is a member of the local Ameri­can Legion Post; he is also affiliated fraternally with Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. O. Elks, and the Red Men of Le Grand; he also is a member of the Chamber, of Commerce and the Farm Bureau. In politics he is independent.


That the credit for progress and the amelioration of the condition of humanity is due to the male sex entirely has never been for a mo­ment conceded, even by the most prejudiced. In some lines it must be admitted that the work of women has far overshadowed anything that man has been able to accomplish. One of those lines is nursing and caring for the sick, and one who is a worthy exponent of that line is Miss Iva E. Trumbell, proprietor of the new Mercy Hospital in Merced.

The daughter of Charles and Alpha (Brooks) Trumbell, she was born on July 9, 1893, on a farm near Belmont, Iowa. Her father was a farmer and is now living in Stockton, Cal. Her mother has passed away. Miss Trumbell's education began in the public schools of Iowa and was completed in the Iowa Methodist Hospital Train­ing School for Nurses in Des Moines, from which she was graduated in 1917. Afterward she was night superintendent of the same institution from 1917 until June, 1919. She then did post-graduate work in the Teachers' College of Columbia University in New York. From there she was called to Iowa as the superintendent of the Congrega­tional Hospital in Des Moines, where she remained until 1922, when she came to California and for ten months conducted a hospital at Oakdale. On November 20, 1923, she came to Merced to take charge of the newly constructed Mercy Hospital.

This building was erected by the people of Merced and is most modern in construction and is equipped with every up-to-date appli­ance for the care of its patients and the convenience of the attending physicians and nurses. The heating, lighting and cooking are all done by electricity. The hospital has eleven private rooms and four wards and has a total bed capacity of thirty-five. There are six graduate nurses besides the other attaches of the place. The building is located in a square of ground comprising four blocks and overlooks the new park. With its fine lawn and surroundings it is ideal in its location and a very valuable adjunct to the city.

Miss Trumbell is a member of the American Nurses Association and the National League of Nursing Education, which has its head­quarters in New York City. She is also a Red Cross nurse and a member of the Rebekahs of Merced. Politically she votes the Republican ticket.


Bereaved of his father when eleven years of age, and of his mother when four, Manuel Cunha had a hard row to hoe but he has hoed it well and has arrived at a comfortable competence and commands the respect of his fellow citizens. He was born in St. George, in the Azores, on December 25, 1872, the son of Manuel and Anna (Betten­court) Cunha. The father was a clerk in a store in St. George, came to California in the fall of 1875 and settled at San Rafael, Marin County, where he carried on a farm and dairy business. At the early age of thirty-three he passed away and his wife died at twenty-four. Manuel had one brother who is at Petaluma. Manuel attended the grammar school until his father died, then he started out to work for himself, taking odd jobs at first till he got steady employment on a farm near Millbrae, where he worked three years in gardens and at general farming. The dry goods business was his next venture, and he followed it for ten years in San Rafael. Upon selling out he came to Gustine, Merced County, in 1910, and for six years was manager of the dry goods department of Miller and Lux's store in Gustine. In 1916 he became manager of the Gustine Creamery, holding the position for two years. In 1919 he engaged in the insurance business with the New York Life Insurance Company for six months, and then with the Reliance Life Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, with which he still remains.

In September, 1911, Mr. Cunha married, at Stockton, Mrs. Fran­ces Fernandes, widow of Manuel Fernandes. Her maiden name was Frances Rose, and she was born at San Rafael, the daughter of Man­uel and Isabella Rose. Her father was a native of the Azores Is­lands, who came to California as a young man and engaged in the dairy business, and later in brick making. Mr. Cunha's family con­sists of five children: Anna Fernandes, a stepdaughter; Nathalie, Margaret, Frances and Milton. In politics he is a Republican. He is a director of the Bank of Gustine and is corporation secretary of the Gustine Creamery. Mr. Cunha owns an alfalfa ranch of twenty-seven acres near Gustine; and his home, which he bought in 1918 in Gustine.


Prominently identified with the best interests of Merced County is Ivan W. Lilley, an enterprising and progressive nursery man and horticulturist, residing in Merced, where he is engaged in the nursery business. The business was established in 1920; later he formed a partnership with Thomas B. Stribling, Jr. and they specialized in commercial fruit trees, putting particular stress on fig trees, a fruit which is admirably adapted to Merced County climate and soil. They also handle ornamental trees and shrubs. Lilley and Stribling maintain their nursery at Le Grand, Merced County, where they grow their stock. They handle about a million and a half fruit trees annually, employing fifteen men during the planting season. Their stock is of the very best to be obtained, and they sell throughout the State.

Ivan W. Lilley was born in the State of New York, on June 6, 1895, the son of Dr. W. E. and Mabel (Crosgrove) Lilley, whose sketch may be found in this history. He was brought to Merced in 1899, and was graduated from the Merced High School in 1913, then entered the University of California, from which he was graduated with the degree of B.S., in 1919. He took up horticulture, and for one year worked as field man with the Peach & Fig Association in Fresno. He then engaged in contract pruning until he established a nursery business in Merced County, which has expanded rapidly under the joint management of Messrs. Lilley and Stribling.

The marriage of Mr. Lilley united him with Miss Inez H. Youd, a native daughter of Merced. Mr. Lilley's interest centers in Merced County, which he considers one of the most fertile portions of the State, and he takes an active part in the development of its resources. He is a member of the Merced Chamber of Commerce and the Farm Bureau. He is a member of Alpha Chi Chapter of the Kappa Alpha college fraternity. In politics he prefers to vote inde­pendently of any party lines.


While James McCue is among the more recent accessions to the business ranks of Merced he is none the less deservedly popular and successful in his line, that of contract plastering, in which he usually employs six men. Among the outstanding contracts he has handled was the plastering of the gymnasium of the Union High School building, the new Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and many of the finer residences where A-1 work was required. He was born in Erie, Pa., on July 13, 1872, a son of Thomas and Helen (Flannigan) McCue. The father, Thomas McCue, was a machinist by occupation and lived and died in Pennsylvania.

James McCue received his education in the public schools of Buf­falo, N. Y. Reaching young manhood he learned the plasterer's trade and for a number of years followed it successfully; he also ran a grain elevator in the East before coming to California, about 1900, and made his home in Oakland, although he worked around the Bay dis­trict. It was not until the summer of 1922 that he located in Mer­ced, and by his integrity and exceptional grade of work he has taken the lead in his line of business.

At Oakland, Cal., Mr. McCue was married to Miss Bertha White, one of California's native daughters. In politics Mr. McCue prefers to select the candidate best fitted to serve the public rather than be confined to strict party lines; fraternally he is a member of the Loyal Order of Moose at Merced.


Although a resident of Merced only since 1922, A. A. Lewis has won for himself a place among the successful business men of the city as the agent for the Studebaker automobiles. Besides carry­ing a full line of cars he has a large stock of parts and supplies, all of which is housed in a concrete, fireproof building erected by the company at 842 Seventeenth Street. The business has steadily grown from month to month under his management. His birth occurred in Sierra County, Cal., on March 29, 1884, a son of David and Leah (Davis) Lewis, both natives of England, who came to California in 1871. The father, David Lewis, spent the greater part of his life in placer mining, but is now living retired with his wife in Plumas County.

A. A. Lewis finished the grammar and high school courses, then took a business course; later he took a mining course in the Van der Nailen School of Mines in San Francisco, and for twelve years there­after followed mining. From 1907 to 1910 he operated the old Vir­ginia mine at Coulterville. From 1911 to 1912 he resided at Coalinga, Cal., where he was engaged in the oil business; then he returned to his mining operations and spent the following seven years in the quick­silver mines of Northern California. In February, 1919, he returned to Coalinga, where he was associated with Mr. Fluetsch in the Pioneer Garage and Machine Works, which they operated until 1922, when Mr. Lewis came to Merced and established his present business.

The marriage of Mr. Lewis united him with Miss Eula McKee­han, a native of Warrensburg, Mo., and a graduate of the normal school there. Four children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis : Leah Lillian, Artajean, Richard Kenneth and James William. Mr. Lewis is satisfied to make Merced his permanent home, where he takes a good citizen's part in all measures looking toward its pros­perity and advancement. He is independent in his political views.


A notable instance of one who has risen to a responsible position by his own unaided efforts and who commands the respect of his fel­low citizens, is presented by Frank J. Duncan, deputy sheriff of Merced County. A record of his career takes us back to his birth in Den­ver, Colo., September 2, 1884, when he entered the family of William T. and Elizabeth (Terrill) Duncan, who lived to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. The father, now retired, was an attorney-at-law who came to Denver about 1849.  The mother came from Virginia.

Frank J. Duncan was educated in the public schools and was graduated from the East Denver High School, to which foundation he added a business course in the Denver Modern School of Business. At the age of nineteen, in 1903, he enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Philippines for six years. Altogether he was fifteen years in the army and was promoted to first lieutenant; his later service was in California. On January 1, 1919, he resigned his commission and went to Yosemite as a ranger. While on a vacation in Merced he was appointed city marshal, which position he held from November, 1919, to April, 1922. He then resigned to accept the position of State inspector with the Motor Vehicle department until January 1, 1923, when he was appointed a deputy sheriff.

Mr. Duncan is happily married to Miss Beatrice H. Nelson, daughter of Henry Nelson, a California pioneer. He is a Republican in politics. His popularity and wide influence are betokened by his many stanch friends and well-wishers. He is a thirty-second-degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner, and is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.


A citizen and business man of much worth and character is John E. Oust, Jr., who, though a comparatively recent accession to the business life of Merced, has made his influence felt in the best in­terests of the place and in the progress and development of its resources. His birth occurred in Norway, October 5, 1883, a son of John E. and Anna N. (Olson) Oust, both natives of the same country. Our subject was six years old when his parents came to California and settled at Merced, where the father was employed with the Crocker-Huffman Company for many years; he is now liv­ing retired; the mother passed away in October, 1922.

John E. Oust, Jr., attended grammar and high school in Mer­ced; then he entered the University of California, where he pursued the electrical engineering course, finishing in 1906. He then returned to Merced, where he entered the employ of the Merced Falls Gas & Electric Company; after some time spent in their employ he went to Chile, S. A., where he remained for eighteen months. Then he located in Sonora, Mexico, for nine months, when he removed to San Francisco and for the following two years was employed with the Westinghouse Company; then for three years he was with the tele­phone company in San Francisco. Mr. Oust then returned to Mexico and after being there for five months, the revolution broke out and he was obliged to return to his own country, where he became an employee of the Half Moon Bay Light & Power Company and while in this locality was city engineer of Burlingame. After remaining with this company for some time he entered the employ of the U. S. Gov­ernment and had charge of the electrical work at the various coast fortifications. In July, 1923, he returned once more to Merced, where he established his present business of electrical engineer and contractor. He has completed the electrical work on the following buildings: the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Christian Church, the manual arts building of the high school, the manual arts building of the grammar school, the motors and wiring of the Cody apartments and many of the handsome residences in and around Merced.

The marriage of Mr. Oust united him with Miss Adele Louise Johnson, a native of Alameda, Cal., and they are the parents of two children, Jack E. and Signa D. Mr. Oust is a Republican in politics and fraternally belongs to the Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World of Merced. He is highly esteemed and respected by all who know him.


By virtue of his integrity and progressive spirit, added to those qualities which have distinguished the Griffin family in their resi­dence in this section, as well as by his business ability, William M. Griffin is named among the representative citizens of Merced. As the junior member of the firm of Welch and Griffin, funeral direc­tors and undertakers, he had an opportunity for the display of his executive .ability and judgment in its successful management. Mr. Griffin was appointed county coroner in 1917, to fill a vacancy, and he was elected to succeed himself. He was one of Merced County's native sons, born on the old Duggan ranch about five miles from Merced, on April 19, 1872, a son of Patrick and Catherine (Town-sell) Griffin. Patrick Griffin had immigrated from Ireland to Aus­tralia in an early day and in 1871 came to California and located in Merced County, where he engaged in business until his death in 1882; the mother died in 1875.

William M. Griffin received a public school education. He clerked in a grocery store until he became a clerk in the El Capitan Hotel, his employment there covering a period of four years. In 1896, he went to the Klondyke and spent one year, meeting with only fair success and encountering many hardships. He returned to Mer­ced and went to work for G. E. Nordgren, a furniture and under­taking firm; when Mr. Nordgren sold to Welch & Company, Mr. Griffin came into the company and later, when he bought a half interest in the business, the firm name was changed to Welch & Griffin. The parlors are maintained as a thoroughly modern under­taking establishment and are located in the Masonic Building in Merced, where every consideration is given to their clients.

The marriage of Mr. Griffin united him with Miss Lulu Knisley, born at El Dorado in Eldorado County. Mr. Griffin died February 6, 1924. In politics Mr. Griffin was a Republican, and fraternally was a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West, the Wood­men of the World, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Knights of Columbus. At his passing, the city and county lost a worthy citizen and supporter of their best interests. The firm still remains Welch & Griffin, Mrs. Lulu K. Griffin succeeding her late husband in the conduct of the business.


Having passed thirteen years of his life in Merced County and having made a special study of properties and their real worth, Andrew Earl Montgomery is a recognized authority on land values. His special work has been the developing of fig orchards, vineyards and dairies and disposing of them; thus his efforts have contributed to the growth of Merced County in a very substantial manner. His birth occurred on his father's ranch in western Kansas, on July 1, 1889, and he is a son of W. C. and Delia (Kelly) Montgomery; W. C. Montgomery was engaged in farming all his life, and is now deceased. At one time he was a member of the Kansas State legislature. His widow makes her home in Los Angeles.

Andrew Earl Montgomery received his preliminary education in the grammar and high schools of his native state; after the family came to California, he entered St. Vincent's College in Los Angeles, from which he was graduated in 1910, with the degree of A. B. After finishing school he went to Mexico, where he spent two years in prospecting and mining, then returned to Los Angeles and engaged in the real estate business. Through having charge of a tract of land in Merced County, he became interested in this section of California, and in 1911 located in Merced permanently. He purchased a dairy ranch and after eight years of successful management sold out and devoted his attention to the development of a fig orchard. He now owns two bearing fig orchards and one vineyard in the vicinity.

In 1917, Mr. Montgomery was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Josephine Iler, one of California's native daughters, born at San Rafael, and they have two children : Marjorie Ruth, and Andrew Earl, Jr. Fraternally, Mr. Montgomery is affiliated with Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. 0. E., of Merced. He has served as temporary secretary and a director of the Chamber of Commerce, of which he is an active member. Mr. Montgomery had charge of the campaign of putting over the irrigation pageant in Merced, a great undertaking, which was wisely handled and which proved a great factor in advertising this productive section of California.


The possession of superior business qualifications has enabled John Lester Qail to rise to prominence in his chosen line of work. He located in Merced, Cal., in 1920, where he became assistant county agricultural agent of the extension service, holding this posi­tion until July, 1923, when he was appointed county agricultural agent, and his determination to win in this position has brought him the confidence and good-will of the entire community in which he resides. He is one of California's native sons, born at Stockton, on August 6, 1894, a son of F. E. and Salina Jane (McCleary) Quail, both natives of Ohio. The family came to California in 1890 and settled at Stockton, where the father has been county engineer of San Joaquin County for five terms. Both parents are living, making their home in Stockton.

John Lester Quail spent twenty years of his life in his home city, and completed the grammar and high school courses there; then in 1914 he entered the University of California, from which he was graduated in 1920, with the degree of B. S. During the World War he was a commissioned officer in the air service, being second lieu­tenant aerial observer. He completed his service in fourteen months and received his honorable discharge, then returned to his home and assisted his father until December, 1920, when he located in Merced, which has since been his home.

The marriage of Mr. Quail united him with Miss Violet M. Hamilton of Amador County, and they are the parents of two sons; John Lester, Jr. and Donald Eugene. Mr. Quail is liberal in politics, preferring to support the candidate best fitted for office rather than hew to party lines. In his fraternal relations he is identified with the American Legion and the S. A. E. Fraternity. He is an enthusiast on wholesome outdoor sports and is particularly interested in the growth and prosperity of Merced County.


A deservedly popular citizen, Robert Clark Cunningham is num­bered among the representative men of Merced who have labored zealously for its upbuilding and the development of its resources. During the twelve years of his residence in Merced he has wit­nessed many changes. He was born in Sidney, Ohio, on September 6, 1892, a son of J. F. and Molly (Clark) Cunningham, both parents of pre-Revolutionary ancestors. The mother is now deceased, while the father makes his home in Merced. Robert Clark Cunningham finished the grammar and high school courses in Ohio; then in 1912 he came to California and settled in Merced. For six years he served as deputy county tax collector. During the World War he was chief clerk on the Merced County exemption board; after this he became bookkeeper and cashier for the Crocker-Huffman Land & Water Company, serving in this capacity for two years. His next position was as bookkeeper and salesman for the Cullen Motor Car Com­pany, his services covering a period of one year; then for two years he was chief clerk for the San Joaquin Light & Power Company. On February 1, 1923, he and an associate engaged in the public accounting business and the following November Mr. Cunningham became sole owner of the business.

The marriage of Mr. Cunningham united him with Miss Lucille Clough, born in Merced, and they have one daughter, Barbara. Mr. Cunningham is a Republican in politics, and fraternally belongs to Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. 0. E.; and Yosemite Lodge No. 30, K. of P., of which he is a Past Chancellor. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and is a past president of the Lions' Club of Merced.


A retired citizen of Merced County now making his home in Los Banos is Ulysses G. Fought, who was born in Paulding County, Ohio, on December 2, 1867. His parents were Elias and Eliza Fought, both natives of the Buckeye State, the former a blacksmith by trade and a farmer who had settled in Kansas in its frontier days. In their family were eight children, viz.: Fred (deceased), Mollie, Henry, Lucinda, Edward (deceased), Ulysses Grant and W. S., twins, and Ella.

Mr. Fought was taken to Kansas when six months old, where he grew to manhood and received his education in the common schools. At the age of twenty, in 1888, he came to California and was em­ployed in San Diego and in San Bernardino, for a short time. In 1889 he came to Merced County and located in Los Banos when that was but a struggling village. When he was able he purchased a quar­ter section of land, leased other tracts and raised grain with mod­erate success. He also was road overseer of the fifth supervisoral district in Merced County for twelve years. He is now living retired from active participation in business affairs, only looking after his personal investments, which include a five-acre tract on the edge of Los Banos which he has subdivided into building lots.

On April 30, 1889, Mr. Fought was united in marriage with Miss Susie Watkins, daughter of John and Harriet Watkins, who came to California about 1888. Of this union there were five chil­dren: Clyde, Charles, Walter, Cecil and Hazel. Mr. Fought is a Democrat in his political convictions, and fraternally, belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Los Banos. Of late, he has spent considerable of his time in Santa Cruz on account of the health of Mrs. Fought, but he retains his interest in the city where he is so well known.


The changing vicissitudes of life brought Glenn H. Kinney into an intimate acquaintance with various localities before he established a permanent home in Merced County. The son of W. P. and Alvira (Lewis) Kinney, he was born in the State of Michigan, on Jan­uary 15, 1889. The parents were both born in Michigan. The father was a farmer but is now living retired with his wife, both enjoying the best of health. Glenn H. is the .third in order of birth of four children, viz.: Grace, Mrs. Bruce Hutchings, and Hazel, Mrs. Fred Wilson, still reside in Michigan; Glenn H.; and Clyde, of Montana. Glenn was educated in the grammar school and had one year in high school, then 1912 he went to Portland, Ore., and from there went to Trout Creek, Wash., where he was employed for six months. Then he came down into California and worked one winter in a box factory at Sonora, Tuolumne County; from there he came to Dos Palos and for three years was employed out on the plains. Mr. Kinney then leased a ranch and engaged in farming on his own account. He finally bought thirty acres north of town, which he sold and invested the proceeds in three acres on the edge of Dos Palos. Since 1923 he has been the distributor at Dos Palos for the Union Ice Company.

On January 17, 1915, Mr. Kinney was united in marriage with Miss Margaret John, born in Oklahoma, the daughter of A. D. and Rilda (Sears) John. When Margaret was a babe the family came to California and settled at Dos Palos, where her father farmed, also worked at the carpenter trade; and he was later engaged in the real estate and insurance business in Dos Palos and is now living retired. There were four children in the John family: Albert (de­ceased) ; Ira ; Margaret, Mrs. Kinney; and Alva. Mr. and Mrs. Kinney have three boys: Hugh Erwin, Holon Oliver, and William Daily. In politics Mr. Kinney is a Republican and he is a member of Santa Rita Lodge of Odd Fellows in Dos Palos.


A successful business man who has won the esteem and confidence of all who have had business dealings with him, is Rufus P. Covert of Merced, whose transfer and storage business has been carried on for the past thirteen years. He has contracts with the United States government for carrying mail; also with the Southern Pacific Rail­road Company and the Yosemite Valley Railroad Company; he is also engaged in a local transfer business, and also does long distance hauling, using four trucks in his business. His birth occurred in New Brighton, Pa., on March 8, 1881, a son of Charles and Margaret (Phillis) Covert. In 1893 the family came to California and lo­cated in Merced, where the father engaged in business. He and his wife are now living retired in Oakland, Cal.

Rufus P. Covert was educated in the public schools of Merced; then after a two years' business course he entered the employ of John R. Graham and for the following five years was foreman and bookkeeper for this firm. Then he became the superintendent of ice agencies for the National Ice Company; later he tried farming for a couple of years. In 1913 he established his present business, which has brought him independence.

Mr. Covert was married to Miss Hattie Whealan, a native daugh­ter of Merced County, Cal., and to them have been born seven child­ren: Sherwood, Calvin, Grace, Lester, Margie, Carroll, and Jackie. Mr. Covert is a Republican in politics and fraternally is affiliated with the Woodmen of the World. He belongs to the Chamber of Com­merce in Merced.


Among the native sons of California conspicuous for their abil­ity, enterprise and worth, is Cyrus William Croop, of Merced, who is actively and successfully engaged in the practice of law in his native city. He was born January 22, 1891, a son of Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Croop. -Both parents are living retired in Santa Cruz, Cal., whither they removed in 1920.

Cyrus William Croop first attended grammar school in Merced, then spent two years in the Merced High School, and when the family removed to Santa Cruz he attended high school .there. After grad­uating from high school he entered the University of California, from which he received his LL. B. degree in 1913. He returned to his native city and was associated with his father in the practice of law until January, 1919, when he was elected to the office of district attorney of Merced County; after one and and a half years in this posi­tion he resigned and became associated with the Simonson-Harrell Abstract Company in the capacity of legal adviser; he also enjoys a lucrative private practice.

The marriage of Mr. Croop united him with Miss Tolbert Ford, also born in Merced, the daughter of the late G. W. Ford. Mr. and Mrs. Croop are the parents of one son, Cyrus William, Jr. Mr. Croop is prominent fraternally, being member and Past President of Yosemite Parlor No. 24, N. S. G. W.; Past Exalted Ruler of Mer­ced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. 0. E.; and a member of Yosemite Lodge No. 30, K. of P.; Merced Lodge No. 208, I. O. O. F., and Wood­men of the World.


As a real estate and insurance broker, Lewis R. Johnson is add­ing his share to the business life of the city of Merced, where he ranks among the representative citizens. On September 27, 1878, he was born in Niles, Mich., a son of Hiram R. and Almeda (Simms) John­son. Hiram R. Johnson was a railroad man and passed away when our subject was fourteen years old; the mother is still living, making her home in California. Lewis R. Johnson attended school up to the tenth grade, in Niles, Mich:, then took a business course, after which he became bookkeeper for the Ohio Paper Company in his native city, where he remained for six months. Then he volunteered for service during the Spanish-American War, and was a member of Company I, 33rd Michigan Volunteer Infantry. His service covered the period from May, 1898, to January, 1899, and he was in action at Santiago de Cuba, West Indies; while in service he contracted an illness and was sent home to recuperate, which required about one year. He then entered the employ of the New York Central Rail­road Company; for the first five years he was a fireman, then for two years an engineer.

In the fall of 1905, Mr. Johnson came to California and located at Merced, where for two years he succeeded as a truck gardener. He then took the civil service examination and when rural route No. 2 was established he was put on as carrier; during this time he was elected and served as chairman of the Republican County Central Committee. In the fall of 1909 he was elected auditor of Merced County, was reelected in 1913, and served two terms with marked ability and satisfaction to the voters of the county. After complet­ing his term of office as auditor he removed to Stockton, Cal., where for a year and a half he was in the tire business, which he later sold and returned to Merced and engaged in his present business, which has gradually increased since its inception.

The marriage of Mr. Johnson united him with Miss Edith E. Pickard, of Indiana, and four children have been born to them: Lonetta, Leonore, Frances and Harold. Mr. Johnson is a stanch Republican and fraternally is identified with the Woodmen of the World and the U. P. E. C. of Merced.


The life history of L. Q., familiarly known as "Gus" Hutchins, is one of unusual interest. He was born in Ripley, Tippah County, Miss., on August 17, 1887, the son of Walter and Jennie (Hensley) Hutchins, the fourth in order of birth of seven children, namely: Alfred F., Erastus C.; Leland E., Luther Q., Maggie, Velma and Wilhelmina. The father migrated to Covington, Tipton County, Tenn., when his son was twelve years old. -

Gus Hutchins was educated in the public schools and remained with his father until he was twenty years old. He then went to work on farms in Sumner County, Kans., and became a foreman on a large estate. From there he went to Spokane, Wash., and in 1909 came to California and for a short time was in the Sacramento Valley, but he was unsettled and soon returned to Kansas and then went to Oklahoma. Mr. Hutchins came to California again in 1912, and was employed with the Standard Oil Company at Calexico for three years. From there he went down into Lower California and was a foreman in a development project of a large tract of land.

When our country entered into the World War he responded to the call and enlisted on October 3, 1917, at El Centro, was sent to Camp Lewis, Washington, and enrolled in Company K, 364th In­fantry of the 91st Division. With this regiment he served in the major offensives and defensives until September 27, 1918, when he was twice hit by bullets from a machine gun, once in the knee and once in the hand, and became a casual. The bullet in the hand re­mained and caused him much annoyance until it was extracted after he had been out of service three and a half years. He received an honorable discharge as corporal on April 26, 1919, returned to Cali­fornia and was engaged in cotton growing on the west side of Fresno County on land leased from Miller & Lux. He was sent by this same company, as superintendent of the Bloomfield ranch near Gil­roy for a short time, and then came to the Dos Palos Colony where he has since farmed the ninety-six-acre ranch of Mrs. James Mitchell. In 1924, he purchased fifty-six acres of land which he is developing.

On June 3, 1920, Mr. Hutchins was married to Evelyn Mitchell, daughter of James and Gertrude E. Mitchell, born at Oroloma, Fresno County, but reared and educated at Dos Palos. Her father was born at .Antioch, Cal., and her grandfather was one of the pio­neers of California. James Mitchell acquired a ranch of ninety-six acres in the Dos Palos Colony, which he left to his widow upon his death, at the age of sixty-five. Mrs. Hutchins is one of a family of five children, namely: William H., Evelyn (Mrs. Hutchins)., James Jr. (deceased), Gertrude (Mrs. Hansen of .Kerman), Amy (Mrs. Ashley of Oakland). Mr. Hutchins carries on general farming on the Mitchell ranch which lies about two miles northwest of Dos Palos. He is not tied to any political party, voting for the best man and issues at stake. He served during 1921-1923 as a deputy tax assessor of Merced County. He belongs to Dos Palos Post No. 86, American Legion.


A man who has in many ways proved a valuable citizen of Dos Palos, Merced County, is Ira S. Hart. The movement that has placed him in high regard by his fellowmen is his activities to obtain a larger irrigation district for the West Side, taking in some 208,­000 acres of land not now' covered by canal. The son of John and Mary (Jolliff) Hart, he was born in Blackford County, Ind., on September 22, 1873. His parents were both natives of Indiana, where the father was a farmer. Later he moved the family to Kan­sas, where the children were reared in Morris, Pratt and Cherokee Counties; later the father took up a timber claim in Nebraska. There were eleven children in the family, viz.: Ira, Alice, Jacob, Henry, Anna, Rachael, Katherine, Lee and Dora (twins), James, and John.

Ira S. Hart was only three years old when he was taken to Kan­sas. At the age of eighteen he went to work in the mines at Galena, Kans., and for the following sixteen years he prospected in Kansas and Arizona. In the fall of 1907 he came to California and worked on construction work near Willows for a couple of seasons, then in 1908, he bought a ranch in the Dos Palos Colony in Merced County, about one mile east of Dos Palos. It was an improved ranch of twenty-two and a half acres on which he raises alfalfa and vegetables and where he set out eight acres to Thompson seedless grapes.

On December 9, 1894, Ira S. Hart was married in the Shawnee Reservation; Indian Territory, to Miss Mary Price, a native of Clay County, Mo., and daughter of Robert and Mary (Stephens) Price, both being natives of Missouri, where her father was a farmer and merchant in Rich Hill. The daughter, Mary, was one of five chil­dren, namely : John, Lee, Fannie, Anna Belle and Mary. There is one child, Viola, in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Hart. Mr. Hart is a Democrat in politics. He served as a deputy marshal in several strike uprisings in Kansas. He is a mechanic and has done consid­erable constructive work on large buildings in Los Banos, and he ran threshing machines in the grain and rice fields on the West Side. When young, he enlisted in Troop K, 3rd U. S. Cavalry, and trained at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, but was discharged on account of physical disability.


Among the men who have contributed to the development of Merced County, Peter C. Hansen occupies a conspicuous place, for he possesses the characteristic traits of his countrymen upon which material success is founded. The son of Chris and Egidia (Peter­sen) Hansen, he was born in Ero, Denmark, November 2, 1867. His father was a farmer and spent his life in Denmark, dying at the age of sixty-eight. There were three children in the family : Hans, Bodil, and Peter C. With but an elementary schooling secured in his native place Peter C. began to make his own way at the age of fourteen, working around on different farms until 1887, when he came to America and landed eventually at Hill's Ferry, Stanislaus County. He first found employment as a ranch hand, and later worked in the lumber yards at Newman, and after working for wages for four years, began to farm on his own account, leasing a grain farm west of Volta, Merced County. For many years he raised grain on 700 to 800 acres of land leased from Simon Newman. His next move was to the Agua Fria, also known as the Hoffman ranch, of 800 acres and leased it for four years. He gave up the lease and in April, 1902, bought the ranch of forty acres he is now occupying, two miles south of Los Banos, which is under the old San Joaquin-Kings River Canal and is devoted to alfalfa and a dairy.

On January 18, 1903, in Los Banos, Mr. Hansen was married to Nellie Wright, a daughter of William W. and Corinne (Jones) Wright, the former a native of New York State and the latter of California, of Kentucky stock. Mr. Wright came to California when quite a young lad and has been a sheep grower for years and owns considerable property in the hills sixteen miles out from Los Banos. Mrs. Hansen was educated in the Mendezable district school of Merced County and they have eight children : Walter C., Wil­liam B., Margaret B., Helen E., Peter C., Nell Virginia, Lucille E., and Mary Belle. Mr. Hansen is a Democrat. Fraternally, he is a member of Orestimba Lodge No. 354, I. 0. 0. F., of Newman, and of the Woodmen of the World, of Los Banos. Mrs. Hansen is a member of Los Olivas Lodge of Rebekahs and of the Eastern Star of Los Banos. Mr. Hansen has been chairman of the Los Banos Center of the Merced County Farm Bureau for two years and is now a director of the same.


Distinguished as the son of a pioneer family of worth, Joseph William Spagnoli is well deserving of representation in this volume. He is now actively engaged in the contracting and building business in Merced, an occupation which so readily marks the wealth and pros­perity of the community. His birth occurred in a mining camp in Mariposa County, on September 13, 1875, a son of Joseph and Elizabeth Jane (Simmons) Spagnoli. Joseph Spagnoli, the father, came by boat from his native country of Switzerland to California in the early fifties, and mined in the mountains of Mariposa County, where he became a successful mine owner and was one of the pioneers of Mariposa County. Miss Elizabeth Jane Simmons was born in England and when a small child accompanied her parents to Australia, and was still a young girl when her parents came to California. She was married to Joseph Spagnoli at Hornitos, Mariposa County, and is still living, having reached an advanced age. The father passed away in 1915.

Joseph William Spagnoli received a grammar school education in Mariposa County. Following in his father's footsteps he turned to mining pursuits and for seventeen years was thus occupied, the greater part of which was spent as a hoisting engineer in the mines. He had also learned the carpenter's trade, and, when he located in Merced, in 1909, he turned his attention to this line of occupation, and for the past five years he has been successfully engaged in the contracting and building business.

Mr. Spagnoli was united in marriage with Miss Rose May Peard, also born in Mariposa County, Cal. Her parents were also pioneers of California, her mother, Martha Branson, crossing the plains with ox-teams in early days, while Mr. Peard came from England. Mr. and Mrs. Spagnoli have two children : Iva, Mrs. Shirley Parsons, and Donald. In politics, Mr. Spagnoli is a Democrat, and fraternally belongs to the Lodge, Encampment, Canton and Rebekahs of the Odd Fellows. For the past six years he has served as a trustee of the grammar school in Merced.


No citizen of Merced County is more highly honored and respected than James C. Ivers who, since 1914, has capably filled the office of county recorder. He has ably demonstrated his ability to handle the affairs of this office and has borne his part in the growth and advancement of his locality. He is a native Californian, born in Napa, on October 21, 1867, a son of Richard and Margaret (Tobin) Ivers. Richard Ivers came to California from Virginia in 1865, and at San Francisco, Cal., was married to Miss Margaret Tobin. They then settled in Napa County where Mr. Ivers engaged in farming until 1868, when he removed to Merced County, where he spent the remainder of his life. Both parents are now deceased.

James C. Ivers received his education in the schools of Merced and assisted his father in ranching, and also farmed independently until 1903, when he became a deputy sheriff under John Swan and served for four years; then for the next four years he was engaged in ranching. He returned to the sheriff's office, where another four years were spent, and in 1914, he was elected to the office of county recorder and since that time has been re-elected twice.

The marriage of Mr. Ivers united him with Miss Margaret Sullivan, a daughter of Joseph Sullivan who came to Merced County with the father of our subject. Mr. and Mrs. Ivers have an adopted daughter, Anna M. Mr. Ivers is a Democrat in politics, and fra­ternally is affiliated with the Woodwen of the World, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Native Sons of the Golden West. He belongs to the Chamber of Commerce. His interest centers in Merced County, where he has been instrumental in forwarding the ad­vancement of his community and where he has won and holds the esteem of the entire section.


It was on the Isle of Ero, in Denmark, on August 13, 1875, that Knud L. Knudsen was born, the son of Knud L. and Anna Marie (Albertsen) Knudsen. The father was a farmer, who lived all his life in Denmark, and died at the age of eighty-one. There were seven children in the family, namely : Albert and Erik, both still in Denmark; Hans, in British Columbia ; Margaret, who died in 1898; Knud Lauritsen, our subject; Jens C., of Los Banos; and Louis, at Winton, Cal.

Knud L. started out for himself at the age of fourteen and did odd jobs until 1902, when he left his native land and set out for the land beyond the sea where so many of his countrymen had gone to make their fortunes. He did not stop until he had reached the western shores and he settled in Los Banos, Merced County, got a job on a dairy farm and worked three years for wages. He then leased twenty acres, and later forty acres, and farmed on leased land for seven years. By this time there was enough surplus of money to his credit to enable him to buy twenty-five acres two and a half miles south of Los Banos, where he has since carried on a dairy.

On March 1, 1905, Knud L. Knudsen was married to Anna Mar­garet Petersen, a native of the same neighborhood from which he came in Denmark, and the daughter of Hans C. and Christina Petersen, farmers in Ero. The daughter was one of six children: Anna, Maria, Sophia, Peter, Hansina, and Erik, and she was edu­cated in Denmark and came to California in 1904. Mr. and Mrs. Knudsen have six children : Emma, Margaret, Louisa H., Emmett, Helen, and Winifred. Mr. Knudsen is a Democrat in politics, is a trustee of the Center school district of Merced County, and is a member of the Woodmen of the World of Los Banos.


A notable instance of the sterling worth which overcomes all obstacles and creates its own opportunities is presented in the career of Walter K. Nielsen, proprietor of the Arena Garage, two and one-half miles east of Livingston. A popular young man, and an engineer and machinist of ability, his personal appearance and agree­able ways win for him many stanch friends. The garage, 125x54 feet, which he built in 1919, is equipped with machinery and up-to-date appliances for all modern work, overhauling, vulcanizing, etc., and in the work of repairing, tractors, trucks and automobiles he employs three men besides himself.

Mr. Nielsen was born in San Francisco on November 4, 1896, the son of J. J. Nielsen, a native of Denmark, who is a prominent concrete contractor in the Santa Clara Valley. He built the Morgan Hill High School building and nearly all the concrete bridges in the Santa Clara Valley. The mother, Catherine- (Kling) Nielsen, was also born in Denmark and died in 1918, aged sixty-one years. While yet a youth of fifteen Walter started to work for the Union Iron Works of San Francisco and since that time he has made his own way. After four years and four months in the _Union Iron Works he en­listed in 1917, in the U. S. Navy, where he made a very excellent record as assistant engineer on a dozen torpedo boats and naval craft, among which may be mentioned, the U. S. S. Chew, U. S. S. Kerman­shaw, a freighter; U. S. S. George Washington, a transport. He served in the Mediterranean and on the Atlantic during the war and went to Constantinople, Turkey, and was in the Black Sea. He drove the first torpedo boat of the U. S. Navy which passed through the Dardanelles after the Turkish surrender. He was honorably discharged at Mare Island on September 27, 1919, having served altogether two and a half years.

Walter King Nielsen was married in San Jose, October 28, 1919, to Miss Gertrude Hatch, a native of New York City, and they came to Arena the night after their marriage. He is a member of the American Automobile Association of Garage Owners. He is a Ma­son, belonging to Turlock Lodge No. 395, F. & A. M. Both Mr. and Mrs. Nielsen are Protestants. They reside in their home Mr. Nielsen built near his garage and dispense a kindly hospitality.


Born in 1871 on the Island of St. George of the Azores group, Frank Silva is the eleventh child in a large family of children born to John Silveira and Mariana Silva, both born on St. George Island. The father was a farmer and spent his entire life following this occu­pation in Portugal. The names of the children are as follows: John, Antone, Joseph, George, Fostino, Manuel, Joaquin, Mary, Mariana, Katherine, Frank, and Peter.

Frank Silva acquired a very limited education, for very early in life he helped with the support of the family. He was only a lad when he landed in Boston, Mass., where he remained until 1886, when he came to California and located in Marin County, where for two years he milked cows for his board; after that he received ten dollars per month for his services. He also worked at San Rafael, Point Reyes and Spanish Town. His next move was to San Francisco, where he was delivery boy for a retail milk company for eleven years. During these years he saved some money and bought an interest in a dairy at Redwood City. During the, panic of 1897, the partners sold the stock and with the proceeds Mr. Silva paid his debts and again began working for wages, milking cows at a dairy in San Mateo. Later he drove a milk wagon at San Bruno and dur­ing these years again saved his money. With this money he bought and sold cattle until 1906, when the conditions around San Fran­cisco were not so good as could be hoped for and Mr. Silva shipped several carloads of cattle to the San Joaquin Valley and sold them.

Coming to Merced County he bought ninety-five dairy cows and put them on 170 acres of land which he had rented about three miles southwest of Gustine. He continued to buy and sell cattle, and later, when he removed to a neighboring farm, he had a herd of 250 cattle. He paid off all he owed and rented 300 acres of land on which he maintains a dairy. Mr. Silva built a house on this place and a first-class dairy barn; later he built another barn and planted the land to alfalfa. Mr. Silva also runs three other ranches in the same vicin­ity, one of 173 acres, another of 1161/2 acres, and the third one of 240 acres, all planted to alfalfa with modern milking and feeding barns. Mr. Silva's dairy business is a partnership affair and the dairy herd now numbers about 700 cattle.

At San Rafael, in 1901, Mr. Silva was married to Miss Mary Cabral, born at Bolinas but reared at Arcata, Cal.; she is a daughter of Joseph and Mary Cabral, natives of St. George of the Azores. Her mother died in 1919, but her father is still living, having returned to his native country. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Silva : Frank, Jr., Angie, and Howard. Mr. Silva is a mem­ber of the U. P. E. C., the I. D. E. S. and the Eagles, all of San Rafael, where he maintains his home, but most of his time is spent in Merced County looking after his large dairy interests. Mrs. Silva met her death in an automobile accident at Dublin, Cal., on September 30, 1924, and is buried at San Rafael.


No object lesson could be presented to the student of history more striking than the progress of civilization and especially of California in the last twenty years. It was about that time that Miss Elvezia Pedrazzini, a native of Canton Ticino, Switzerland, came to California. Since her arrival she has seen more new inventions that are now in common use than were made in a hundred years previously. Her father, Fedele Pedrazzini, was an attorney at law, who went to Australia and died there leaving his family in Switzerland. The daughter, who remained with her mother, Celestina (Traversi) Pedrazzini, was educated in the grammar school in Switzerland and taught school there. She was the youngest of five children, namely: Adelaide, Pauline, Flamina, Carmelo and Elvezia.


Miss Pedrazzini came to Pescadero, San Mateo County, and was married in Redwood City, on December 3, 1903, to Venanzio Tonolla, a native of Canton Ticino, Switzerland, the son of Antonio and Martina De Grigioni; and reared on his father's farm. When nineteen years old he came to California and worked in hotels, dairies and as a ranch hand. After his marriage he remained on ranches in San Mateo County. Later they moved to Merced County and he leased the S. A. Smith ranch and ran it for nine years. In 1916, he bought the Louis Bambauer place of thirty-seven acres, one and a quarter miles south of Los Banos and carried on a dairy there. He died there, on January 17, 1918, leaving a family of three children: Ida, Oscar, and George. Mrs. Tonolla is a Democrat in politics. Mr. Tonolla was a member of the Druids of Santa Cruz.


While a young lad living in the Island of St. George, in the Azores, Manuel Souza often heard stories of America, and Cali­fornia in particular, and he was fired with the ambition to cast in his lot and see if he could not make a fortune where his brothers Antone and Joseph had already made a good beginning. The opportunity came when he was eighteen years old and ever since that date he has resided in the Golden State. He was born in 1865, a son of Joseph O. and Anna (Brazil) Souza, who also had a daughter, Marie, besides the three sons, and being poor people the son had no chance to go to school. Upon arriving in California he stopped in Watsonville and soon found employment at ranch work among his countrymen who had ranches in the section and ever after he has been engaged in that kind of work and has made a success of it. He is a practical dairyman and knows how to make a dairy pay.

Mr. Souza married Josephine Pimentel, born in Flores, in Wat­sonville, Cal., and the young couple set out together to make a home and found a fortune. In 1903, they moved to the West Side in Mer­ced County and leased the Jameson ranch near Los Banos; two years later they moved to the McCarthy place and farmed there two years. The next move took them to the Simonson ranch where, with a part­ner, Mr. Souza ran three strings of dairy cows. The profits he made enabled him to buy eighty acres of his own in the Cottonwood dis­trict and here he erected a house and barns and developed the ranch to alfalfa and runs a dairy.

Mrs. Souza was the daughter.of Joseph and Mary Pimentel and came to California with her brother when she was sixteen years old. The twelve children in her father's family are : Delphine, Mary, Joseph, Antone, Flora, Joaquin, Frank, Anna, Josephine, John, Amelia and Marion. Of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Souza three children were born, and the only one now living is Josephine, who married Frank. Tosta of Patterson, in January, 1921, and is the mother of two children, Gerald and Aldine. Mary married Joseph Olivieira August 30, 1912, and died, aged twenty-one. Joseph mar­ried Mary De Gregori on November 30, 1914, and they had two children, Clinton and Vernon. Joseph died November 7, 1923, aged thirty-two. His widow lives in a house he erected on the home ranch where, during his life, he helped his father with the ranch work. Manuel Souza became a citizen of the United States at Santa Cruz, Cal., and is a Republican. He is a member of the U. P. E. C. and the I. D. E. S. societies.


The assistant superintendent of the canal system on the West Side with a territory extending from Mendota to Crows Landing, a distance of seventy-one miles, is Carl Edward Olson, residing on his ranch one mile southwest of Los Banos. A native of Sweden he was born in Oland, on January 28, 1870, a son of Ole and Christina (Pearson) Olson. His father was a corporal in the Swedish Navy and was in the service until he was retired. He came to California in October, 1913, and now resides in Turlock, and is eighty-four years old. The wife and mother died at the age seventy-four. They had seven children: Peter, 'of Turlock; Amanda, deceased; John, of Los Banos; Carl Edward, our subject; Ida, of Turlock; Hilda, in Hilmar; and Albert.

Carl Edward Olson had but little opportunity to get an education and when he was sixteen he began earning his own living, working about in his native country until 1889. He decided he could better his condition by coming to the United States and California was his goal. For a time he stopped in San Francisco, then came to Dos Palos in Merced County and secured employment with Miller and Lux as a ranch hand. He knew little of the English language, but was alert and picked up a practical working knowledge as he went about his daily tasks. He was next in the employ of Crocker & Huffman, on the Merced River, for a time; and as a diversion he spent four seasons hunting game for the markets of the bay cities, and it paid very well. He worked in the harvest fields in the sum­mer. In 1895, he went to work for Hans Albertsen, in the hills on the Newman ranch, and for four years was steadily engaged; then he spent fifteen months in the employ of the San Joaquin-Kings River Canal and Irrigation Co.; later, after a harvest season for Albert­sen, he took a trip back to his native land, spending six months visit­ing among friends and relatives. Returning to California Mr. Olson worked for Mr. Albertsen, for two years, then for John Olson, and in 1904 he again entered the employ of the San Joaquin-Kings River Canal and Irrigation Co., beginning at the bottom and gradually working his way through the various positions with the company until he is now the assistant superintendent over seventy-one miles of ditches. In 1922, he bought a part of the Midway ranch con­sisting of twenty acres and makes that his home.

On August 2, 1903, Mr. Olson was married to Miss Anna Lena Albertsen, a native of Ero, Denmark; and this union has been blessed by the birth of a son, Ray Olson.


A very representative business man of Los Banos who has earned the respect of his many friends is Jean B. Erreca, drayman of that city. He was born in the Basque province in the Pyrenees, in France, on May 26, 1874, and attended the public schools in his native land; in the meantime he was reared in the sheep business. When he was old enough to make up his mind as to his future he embarked for America and landed in New York on January 1, 1893, and made his way to California and we find him first in San Diego County herding sheep on the Ensenada for the next few months. He then came to Los Angeles and worked in a butcher shop for Charles Gasen and Simon Meyer ; later he went to Williams, Ariz., where he had charge of the sheep on the Welch ranch until in September, 1902, when he came back to California and herded sheep with his brothers, on the West Side of the San Joaquin Valley. He had learned the English language and had saved his money, so he was now able to become a property owner in his own right and bought a lot 150 x 150 feet at the corner of Sixth and K Streets in Los Banos, which he still owns. Here he established a feed yard and dealt in hay and grain and also erected a brick residence. As he prospered he bought the Robert Miller livery stable and ran that for four years. Then he erected a garage, at a cost of $45,000, the finest in the valley and known as the Sischo Garage. Mr. Erreca owns and operates a five-ton Pierce-Arrow truck and has built up a fine draying and hauling business.

Mr. Erreca married Marian Laxague and they have three boys, Martin, Peter and Emil. They have reared one adopted daughter Marcelin Menta. Mr. Erreca belongs to the Woodmen of the World and is a member of the San Francisco Hospital Association. He became an American citizen in 1905 and supports the best men and measures at all elections.


An active rancher, William Mazzina is well-known in Merced County as one of the progressive men of Los Banos. He was born in Milano, Province of Sondrino, Italy, on May 30, 1880, and at­tended the schools of his native land and worked at various occu­pations until 1900, when he went to South America, arriving at Bonasario. Two years later he arrived in New York City with one-hundred dollars in his pocket, and from there he made his way to San Francisco and found employment in dock construction. It was hard work and his faithfulness was rewarded with promotion and he stuck to it for three years. He saved his wages and was able to take up ranching in Napa County, which he followed for two years. In 1908 he came to Los Banos and was engaged in the liquor busi­ness up to the passing of the war prohibition in 1917. During this time he bought a dairy ranch of seventy-five acres, six miles from Dos Palos, where he is engaged in ranching and in the dairy business. In 1920 Mr. Mazzina took a trip to his old home in Italy and was gone six months. He was made a citizen. of the United States Febru­ary 14, 1911.

Mr. Mazzina married Faustina Arburua, a native of Spain, and there are four children of the union: Mary, Tony, Ellen and Theresa. Fraternally he is a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles and of the Druids.


An old and prominent family in Merced County, is that repre­sented by Frank M. Ostrander, the junior member of the law firm of Ostrander & Ostrander, of Merced, Cal., where he was born on January 13, 1890. His father, Frank Merced Ostrander, was the first white boy born in Merced County. His grandfather, Harvey J. Ostrander, was a pioneer of 1850 and he spent the remainder of his life in Merced County. The father was also an attorney by profession and he was the first Republican to be elected to the office of district attorney in Merced County; he passed away in 1890, the year our subject was born. The mother, who in maidenhood was Georgina Bain, is still living.

Frank M. Ostrander attended public school in Palo Alto, Cal., also the Hitchcock Military Academy and the Leland Stanford, Jr., University, where he completed his law course. He was admitted to the bar of California in 1920 and immediately began practicing in Merced. On November 1, 1923, he became associated with his uncle in the firm of Ostrander & Ostrander and their efforts have been rewarded with gratifying success.

The marriage of Mr. Ostrander united him with Miss Frances L. Reesor of Oakland, who was born in Montana. Mr. Ostrander enlisted for service during the World War and spent one year over seas at Base Hospital No. 30; he was a sergeant, first class, when he was discharged from the service. In his fraternal relations he is a Mason, a member of the N. S. G. W., and the Moose. He belongs to the Merced Post of the American Legion. Mr. Ostrander is actively identified with the public life of Merced and his aid in pro­moting measures for the public good has been of vital importance to the community in general.


The life story of Niels Larsen has been one of toil and cease­less endeavor since early boyhood. His father, Jorgen Larsen was a carpenter and cabinet-maker who lived his entire allotted time in Denmark, dying at the age of sixty-eight. His mother, Marie (Niel­sen) Larsen, died there at the age of forty-nine. They had fifteen children, two of whom died in infancy. Those living to grow to maturity are : Lars, Hans, Margaret, Niels, Christina, Anna, Thomas, Christian, Ingaborg, Theodore, Johanna, Jens, and Laura.

Niels was born at Sjeetland, Denmark, on October 9, 1871, and was educated in the schools of his native land. When he was nine­teen he came to the United States, in 1890, and soon after his arrival made his way out to Douglas County, Neb., where he secured employ­ment for three years on a farm, then he undertook to farm some land on his own account, leased 160 acres on the Elkhorn and Platte Rivers and raised corn, cattle and other stock. The lure of adven­ture and the possibility of making more than he could make on a farm, decided him to go on a whaling expedition in 1907. He was gone eight months in the north Pacific and five whales were brought back to San Francisco. His percentage of the profits was one dollar net for the eight months' work. In 1908, he first came to Los Banos. Returning to Nebraska he worked a year and went back to Denmark. In 1909, he was back again in Nebraska and worked there until 1911, when he came to California and followed carpentering for a short time. He next worked a year on the canal and then undertook a dairy which he carried on for five years near Los Banos. In 1917, he went to work for the San Joaquin-Kings River Canal Co. and has been on that job ever since. He is foreman of the Los Banos Out­side Division of this canal.

On May 6, 1909, Mr. Larsen was married in Fremont, Neb., to Miss Inga Jensen, a native of Sjeetland, Denmark, and daughter of Jens and Sine (Sivensen) Jensen, born in Denmark and Sweden, respectively. She was the eldest of five children, the others are Sven, Carl, Alma and Apel. Mr. and Mrs. Larsen have had four children:Laura (died in infancy), Laura, Margaret, and Evelyn. Mr. Larsen is a Democrat. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America in Fremont, Neb.


Although somewhat of a recent acquisition to the ranks of Mer­ced's attorneys, Ranse R. Sischo has won a name for himself and today ranks among the successful lawyers of the county, as well as representative citizens of the locality. He was born in Shelton, Wash., on August 1, 1892, a son of Abel and Frances (Willie) Sischo. The parents were married in New York and removed to Iowa; then in 1870 went to Missouri, from there to Nebraska, and in 1872, settled in the State of Washington, where both parents passed away.

Ranse R. Sischo completed the grammar and high school courses in Long Beach, Cal.; then he took up the study of law in a private office and in November, 1921, was admitted to practice law in the. State of Nevada. In 1922, he came to California and settled in Merced, and having been admitted to the bar of California on March 17, 1924, he opened and maintains a law office in that city.

Mr. Sischo was married on January 4, 1925, in Los Banos, Cal., to Miss Ethel L. Riedeman, of Santa Cruz. Politically he gives his influence to the Republican party; fraternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge at Long Beach. Mr. Sischo has become an enthusiast on the resources of Merced County and his public spirit and activity for the prosperity and welfare of Merced has won for him many friends and a well-established law practice.


One of the busiest and most enterprising men of Merced is Charles William Dempsey, contractor and builder, architect and de­signer. In many ways he has proved a valuable citizen of his county, contributing to its growth, fostering its enterprises and promoting its welfare. At Washington, D. C., on October 20, 1885, he was born, the son of William Daniel and Elmira (Chilton) Dempsey, who have both passed away. The father was a carpenter by trade and the son, after what education he was able to get in the public schools of Washington, learned the trade from his father, which he followed in the capital of our country up to 1906, when he reached his majority and struck out for himself. Houston, Texas, was his first landing place, where he spent two years at his trade. Various cities in the State of Washington were where he followed his trade for the next four years. In 1912 he came to Merced, and since 1917 has been contracting for himself. He specializes in residences, remodels build­ings and also designs new buildings, employing eight men. Among the seventy fine houses which he has built in Merced the homes of E. S. Hass and Charles Crossland may be mentioned as evidence of superior workmanship and design. He also built the wholesale house for the Richfield Oil Company.

The changing vicissitudes of life brought Mr. Dempsey in contact with Miss Emily Scofield, a lady who was brought up near Merced. An intimacy was formed which resulted in marriage and two children, viz. : Thomas and Thelma. As a public-spirited man, he is deeply interested in the progress of Merced. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias; and is the Worshipful Master of Yosemite Lodge No. 99, F. & A. M., of Mercd, and is highly respected.


The genealogy of Maury Curtis, is traced back to Scotland and England, his ancestors being among the American families who settled in Virginia in an early day. He was born on his father's farm in Virginia, on May 18, 1885, a son of A. M. and Roberta (Hume) Curtis, both natives of Virginia. A. M. Curtis served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War; after the war he engaged in farming for the balance of his life and passed away in 1901. The mother is still living.

Maury Curtis began his preliminary educational training for his life's work in the public schools of his native state; after graduating from the high school he entered the academic department of the Washington Lee University at Lexington, Va., where he remained one year ; subsequently he entered Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D. C., from which he was graduated with the degree LL.B., in 1910. He then became connected with the solicitor's office, in the United States Department of Agriculture. On January 1, 1912, he left Washington for San Francisco to become assistant to the solicitor of that department, and remained in that position until April 15, 1914 ; he then spent one year in private prac­tice in San Francisco. In 1916, he went into the United States De­partment of Justice and was thus occupied until 1917, when he removed to Los Angeles, where he became clerk in the United States District Court under Judge B. F. Bledsoe. On August 15, 1920, Mr. Curtis removed to Merced to become assistant district attorney of the county, where he has since resided. Mr. Curtis is a single man and takes great delight in all outdoor sports, especially base­ball and football. No trait is more noticeable in his character and life than that of energy, and he deservedly ranks among the enter­prising and resourceful citizens of Merced.


Among the many immigrants from the Azores Islands who have contributed towards the development of Merced County is John M. Silva, who possesses those traits of character upon which material success is founded. He was born in St. George, of the Azores on June 7, 1886, the son of Joseph M. and Barbara Silva, and was the second of six children as follows: Germania (deceased), John M., Rosa (deceased), Antonio, Joseph and Manuel. He came to Amer­ica in 1904 and stopped for a short time in Boston, Mass., came to San Luis Obispo where he secured employment as a milker on a dairy ranch for four years. It was the first round of the ladder on which he hoped to climb toward a business for himself. With the wages he saved he was able to enter into partnership with J. M. Diaz, in a dairy of 100 cows on a ranch of 700 acres, five miles from San Luis Obispo, and after running the dairy five years they moved fifty of the cows to Merced County and settled on the Henry Pfitzer place five miles southwest of Gustine. Here John M. Silva has sixty-three acres in alfalfa, having bought the land the same year he came here. In March, 1925, he bought out his partner and is now running the business alone.

On September 9, 1914, J. M. Silva was married to Mary Azevedo in San Luis Obispo. She is the daughter of Manuel and Minnie (Perry) Azevedo and was born in San Luis Obispo; her parents were both natives of the Azores, the former of Pico and the latter of Fayal. Her father came to California in 1889 and was married in San Luis Obispo, where he is still dairy farming near that place. Mrs. Silva is the eldest of six children, namely: Mary, Ida, Manuel, William, Louis, and Mabel. She attended school in the Los Osos and the Santa Fe districts, both of San Luis Obispo County. Mr. Silva is a member of the U. P. E. C. and of the I. D. E. S. of Gustine; also a member of the Foresters of America and Knights of Columbus of Newman. Mrs. Silva is a member of the S. P. R. S. I. of Gustine and of the U. P. P. E. C. of Newman.


An official of Merced County who has proven his worth and ability in the discharge of the duties of his office, is Patrick J. Thorn­ton, the county clerk. He was born on March 27, 1872, within a stone's throw of the limits of the city of Merced, a son of the late William and Julia (Whelan) Thornton. William Thornton owned and operated a large ranch in the McSwain school district. He was born in Ireland, came to California across the Isthmus of Panama in 1865, and settled in Merced County in 1867. He was married in San Francisco in 1869. His wife was also born in Ireland, and came to California in 1866. Of this union ten children were born, all in Merced County: Daniel W., who died in 1898, at the age of twenty-six; Patrick James, of this review; Mary A.; Margaret M.; John J.; Hannah T., now the wife of M. S. Maddux; Julia B. who died unmarried; Rose M., who married W. H. Wegner; William W.; and Joseph F., who died in early boyhood. William Thornton, though a stanch Democrat, never aspired to official honors. He was a man of excellent judgment and common sense. He died at the age of sixty-nine; but his widow survived until 1919, dying at the age of seventy-two. She was an active member of the Catholic Church and liberally contributed to the fund for the building of the new edifice.

Patrick J. Thornton attended the McSwain district school and grew up to farm work. He became a student at St. Mary's College, Oakland, graduating from its business department. He entered the court house in the capacity of deputy county clerk, under W. B. Croop. In 1906 he became a candidate for the office on the Demo­cratic ticket and was elected, being returned to the office of county clerk in 1910, 1914, 1918, and 1922.

On May 19, 1920, Patrick J. Thornton was united in marriage with Miss Agnes Ryan, a native of Ireland but a resident of Cali­fornia since 1917. The family home is located at 1030 L Street, the house having been erected in 1921. The Thornton ranch of 740 acres has been divided among the living children, who still own it. Mr. and Mrs. Thornton are members of the Catholic Church in Merced. He is a member of Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. O. E.; a Past Grand Knight of the Merced Council, Knights of Columbus; and a member of Yosemite Parlor No. 24, N. S. G. W., and of the local Chamber of Commerce. By virtue of his office, during the World War Mr. Thornton was a member of the County Council of Defense. He gives his whole time to his official duties.


A prosperous dairyman of the Gustine section of Merced County is found in Louis Peter Taglio, who resides on his twenty-acre home place south of the city limits of Gustine; he operates a milk route in Newman and Gustine and is fast developing his property to wal­nuts. His birth occurred in Salinas, Cal., on January 16, 1894, a son of P. L. and Nellie A. Taglio, whose sketch may be found on another page in this history.

Louis Peter Taglio attended public school in Salinas and Gon­zales, with a partial high school course in Gonzales. From young manhood he was associated with his father in ranching on the home place near Gustine. When his father retired and moved into town, Mr. Taglio and his brothers ran the place until 1921, when our sub­ject purchased his present place.

At Gustine on June 28, 1919, Mr. Taglio was married to Miss Rosalie M. Bizzini, born at San Lucas, Cal., daughter of Charles and Delphina Bizzini, farmer folk in the Gustine section, where Mrs. Taglio was reared and educated in the grammar and high schools. Mr. and Mrs. Taglio have two daughters : Rosalie, and Lorinne. Mr. Taglio is a trustee of the joint telephone companies, namely the Bunker Farmers line and the Sturgeon line. In politics he is a Democrat, and fraternally, is a member of the Woodmen of the World, and is a charter member of the Knights of Columbus of Newman.


In Merced are located some of the most energetic and enterpris­ing young business men of Merced County, men who have been successful in their undertakings, and whose efforts through life thus far, by their own perserverance and activity, have brought ample returns. Among this number is Joseph S. Pancoast, proprietor of the Pancoast Battery Works. A native of California, he was born on February 19, 1897, in San Francisco. His father, Mulford Pancoast, was born in Virginia and came to California about thirty years ago and was married to Miss Rose Ingham, a native of San Francisco, Cal. The father is now deceased, but the mother is still living, resid­ing in San Francisco.

Joseph S. Pancoast completed the grammar school course and was in his second year in high school when his father passed away. He was then obliged to leave school and go to work and chose the automobile game. His first job was with the Howard Auto Com­pany; then he worked as an instructor for the Studebaker Company for one year. He then took up the battery business. This was before there were battery stations, and he advanced until he was put in charge of the battery department of several large shops. Then he spent two years selling life insurance, which further equipped him for operating his own business. In December, 1921, he came to Merced to deliver a policy, and he was so favorably impressed with the possibilities of the town that he rented a small space and opened a battery works. In September, 1923, having bought a site, he built his present modern shop, where he manufactures his own batteries, and in addition, carries a full line of accessories for all makes of automobiles.

The marriage of Mr. Pancoast united him with Miss Peggy Kim­ball, a native of Maine. Mr. Pancoast is a Republican in politics. For recreation, he enjoys motoring through the mountains.


Public-spirited, enterprising and progressive, Henry P. Green has, for the past nineteen years, given substantial aid to the growth and development of the city of Gustine, where he has helped to build most of the homes and continues to be active in the upbuilding of this section, and also finds time to cultivate his home place of two acres within the city limits, where he makes his home. His birth occurred in Schuyler County, Mo., May 22, 1883, a son of John Henry and Margaret (Kirkland) Green, both natives of the same state. His father has spent his entire life in Missouri, where he is engaged in farming. He was county treasurer of Schuyler County for a couple of terms. There were ten children in this family, nine of whom are now living: Ona ; Irvie, resides in western Kansas; Myrtle ; Henry P., the subject of this review ; Cordie; Gracie; Buella,, deceased; Anna ; Nellie; and Velma.

The education of Henry P. Green was obtained in the grammar schools of his native county. He spent twenty-two years of his life at home; then he came to California and located at Gustine, where he learned the carpenter's trade and for several years has been a build­ing contractor.

At Gustine, February 27, 1913, Mr. Green was married to Miss Leslie Hollingsworth, daughter of J. E. and Lucy J. (Drummond) Hollingsworth, both natives of Illinois and both pioneers of the San Joaquin Valley. The maternal grandfather of Mrs. Green, J. Q. Drummond, came to California in 1852 and was a prominent and respected citizen of Merced County, where he engaged in farming near Ingomar. Her father, J. E. Hollingsworth, engaged in farming and dairying in Merced County and lived to be sixty-five years old. Her mother, whose sketch will also be found in this history, still makes her home at Gustine. Of this union there were four children: Ruby; John; an infant deceased; and Leslie, the wife of our subject. Two sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Green: Leland Henry and James Lester. Mr. Green is a stanch Democrat in politics, fra­ternally, he belongs to the Odd Fellows Lodge of Gustine and is a past grand of this order ; with his wife he is a member of the Re­bekahs ; he also serves as a member of the city council of Gustine.


When the lure of gold was drawing thousands to California in the early fifties, among the hardy and adventurous argonauts who crossed the plains in 1854 was Andrew Jackson Hulen. With the .cheerful optimism of youth he began the quest for the precious metal at Chinese Camp and Downieville. Of how much gold he found, there is no record, but it is recorded that he found something a great deal more precious, a faithful wife, Mary Ida Lewis, to whom he was united in marriage on September 2, 1873, in Contra Costa County, where he turned his attention to freighting among the farmers and merchants. He had filed on a quarter section in Merced County, but he gave that up and settled at Volta in 1894, and rented 100 acres of Uriah Wood; he also leased 800 acres and went in for grain farm­ing. He finally bought ninety acres near Volta, where he spent the balance of his life, dying in 1917, at the age of eighty-six; his good wife is still living and is sixty-seven years old. Of this union there were born ten children: Lee A., deceased; John S., born April 13, 1876, who was married September 14, 1913, at San Rafael to Nettie Jeffers, born at Volta, Merced County, a daughter of Ben­jamin and Eliza (Knight) Jeffers, both born in 1843, the former in Jones County, Iowa, and the latter in Columbiana County, Ohio; George R.; Margaret A., Mrs. A. C. Shafer of Manteca ; William F., deceased; Lewis; Alice, Mrs. Smith Acker of Merced; Edna, Mrs. Weisman of Modesto; Frank; and Woodson, familiarly known as "Jack."

George Robert Hulen was born on February 16, 1879, near Lakeport, Lake County, Cal., was educated in the Santa Nella district school and remained with his father until 1904, when he went out and worked for wages as a ranch hand. He was frugal and saved his money and in eight years was able to acquire some stock, and in 1912 he came to his present location four miles west of Volta and bought eighty acres devoted to alfalfa on which he runs a dairy of sixty cows. He also owns thirty acres five miles south of his home. This is also under the canal and devoted to alfalfa. He is an inde­pendent in politics, voting for the best men and measures regardless of party. He is a member of the Mountain Brow Lodge No. 82, I. O. O. F.


Within the city limits of Gustine on the southwest lies the small ranch of six and a half acres, which for the past ten years has been the home of Andrew F. Silva. His birth occurred at San Lorenzo, Cal., August 4, 1885, a son of Andrew Silva and Mary (Cardoza) D'Souza, both natives of the town of Fayal of the Azores Islands, who came to the United States when young and were married in Boston, Mass. In 1871 they came to California and settled at San Lorenzo, where the father worked for wages on farms until 1903. They then removed to Gustine, which at that time was a flag station on the railroad, and here a farm of sixty-six acres was purchased and the father engaged in the dairy business for the balance of his life. He was fifty-three years old when he died. The mother makes her home at Newman, aged sixty-eight years. There were eight children in this family, namely: John, Rose, Mary, Alice, and Anna, all deceased; the surviving members are Manuel, Joseph and Andrew F.

Andrew F. Silva attended the public schools in Alameda County and was associated with his father in the dairy business at Gustine until his father passed away; he then bought the home place, which lies east of town about three-quarters of a mile, continued to run a dairy for several years, and then sold the cows and rented the land and moved onto his present home place, where he has built a substan­tial residence and necessary farm buildings.

At Oakland, Cal., December 12, 1909, Mr. Silva was married to Miss Mary Rodrigues Silva, born at Fayal, Azores Islands, daughter of Antone Silva, a pioneer gold miner of California, who later returned to his native country, where he still lives. Mrs. Silva received her education in her native city. Three children constitute this fam­ily: Manuel, Antone, and Mary, the wife of our subject. Besides farming the home place, Mr. Silva writes life insurance for the Western States Life Insurance Company of San Francisco. In poli­tics he is a Republican.


While Joseph M. Soares was growing up in his native land such glowing reports were continually coming from many of his country­men, who had migrated to California and were making money, that it was quite natural for our subject to have a desire to see this country himself. He was born on December 21, 1888, a son of J. M. and Rosa (Azevedo) Soares, and grew up and went to school in his native land. His father was a farmer and also a mechanic and lived at Pico, in the Azores. There were nine children in the family: Manuel, Joseph M., John, Frank, Mary, Julia, Angelina, Seraphim and Rose. At the age of eighteen Joseph landed in Boston, Mass., coming di­rectly to California and on arriving in Napa Valley, he found employ­ment on a dairy farm, where he worked five years at twenty-five dollars a month to start with. From there he came to Newman, Stanislaus County; in the summer he worked at baling hay around Pleasanton, and in the winter time in the dairies in Stanislaus County. In due time he had accumulated funds enough to get into business on his own account, so we find him in partnership with his brother, John, and M. S. Machado, in a herd of 160 cows on the Crittenden ranch; this partnership continued for nine years when he sold out and bought sixty-eight acres in the Romero school district, a part of the old Menzel ranch, and here he built his house and farm buildings and raises alfalfa hay.

On October 8, 1917, J. M. Soares was married, at Gustine, to Theresa A. Luiz, born in San Rafael, Marin County, the daughter of Frank and Mary (Bernard) Luiz, both natives of the Azores, the former of St. George and the latter of Fayal. Frank Luiz was brought to California about sixty years ago, when a young lad, by his uncle who was a captain of a whaling vessel. He became a dairy rancher in Marin and Colusa Counties, and died at the age of sixty-nine. Mrs. Soares was the twelfth in a family of fifteen, as follows : Antone, Mary, Frank, Emily, John, Joseph, Belle, Madaline, Mil­dred, George, Henry, Theresa, Rose, Olivia, and Catherine. Mr. and Mrs. Soares have five children : Joseph; John, Edwin, Alice and Erwin. Fraternally, Mr. Soares is a member of the U. P. E. C. and the I. D. E. S. Lodge of Gustine, also of the E. S. E. S. of Gustine. Mrs. Soares is a member of the S. P. R. S. I. of Gustine. Mr. Soares took out his naturalization papers about three years ago, and is a Republican.


The son of a pioneer couple, and a well-known man in Merced, John Paul Gibbons, more familiarly known as Paul Gibbons, is the foreman and chief trouble-shooter for the Ford Garage operated by R. Shaffer at Merced. A son of John Wesley and Helen (Leslie) Gibbons, he was born at Merced Falls on April 29, 1890, and grew to manhood on his father's ranch and attended the common schools of his locality. In 1906 he came to Merced. Always being interested in machinery of various kinds, he entered the machine shop of the Yosemite Valley Railway and served an apprenticeship. He then became a locomotive engineer in 1907, serving seven years on the Yosemite Valley Railroad, running from Merced to El Portal.

The marriage of Paul Gibbons at Richmond, Cal., on June 6, 1911, united him with Miss Margaret Thornton, daughter of the late Michael Thornton, a prominent rancher of this county. Mrs. Gib­bons is the twelfth of a family of thirteen children. She grew up in the county and attended the public schools. Mr. and Mrs. Gibbons have one child, Paul. In 1913 Mr. Gibbons erected their home at 1010 Seventeenth Street, Merced.

After leaving the employ of the Yosemite Valley Railway Mr. Gibbons entered the employ of Lounsbury and Shaffer as an auto­mobile mechanic. When Mr. Shaffer took over the Ford agency on Sixteenth Street, in 1922, Mr. Gibbons went with him. He is a competent mechanic and ably fills his responsible position. He is a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen. Politically he is a Democrat.


The life which this sketch outlines began in Canton Ticino, Switzerland, on November 26, 1871, when Julius Bonta was born to Carlo and Maria (Cesalina) Bonta. The father is still living in his native country at the age of ninety; the mother died at the age of forty-four. Julius has two brothers, Placido and August, in California.

His father was a farmer and stockman. As Julius grew up he went to the common school and helped his father at home. When he came to that period in life when a boy begins to think what he is going to do in the world his thoughts were turned to that country across the sea whither so many of his countrymen had gone, and as soon as he reached his majority, in 1892, he bade good-bye to his native land and embarked for the New World. He had no capital or trade, but had learned about caring for stock from his father, and he naturally sought for work on a dairy ranch when he reached Salinas, Monterey County, Cal. After working there six years he came to the West Side of the San Joaquin and worked on ranches fourteen months near Newman. By this time he had saved enough of his wages to go into business on his own account. Entering into partnership with George Stewart, he carried on a dairy of 120 cows for five years, when the partnership was dissolved and Mr. Bonta carried on the business by himself, with two strings of cows, for five years. His next venture was the purchase of 100 acres of land eight miles south of Gustine in 1908, part of it in alfalfa and part undeveloped; but he has brought it all into a high state of cultivation and carries on a dairy of sixty head at the present time.

On March 4, 1909, Julius Bonta was married in Switzerland to Elvira Guzzi, a native of that country, and daughter of Clement and Celeste Guzzi, farmer folk, and they have two children, Emile and Daniel. Mr. Bonta received his naturalization papers in Monterey County and votes for the best man and measures regardless of party. In 1924, Mrs. Bonta made a visit to her home in Canton Ticino.


The success which numbers Silverio P. Silva among the prosper­ous business men of Gustine has been entirely the result of his own efforts, for he came empty-handed from Portugal, where he was born August 4, 1876, and with the energy and perseverance char­acteristic of the natives of Portugal has gained a competence in the face of many difficulties. He is the son of Jacintho and Joaquina Maria (Alves) Silva. Jacintho Silva was a blacksmith and followed his trade all his life in Portugal. There were nine children in this family, namely: Maria ; Jose; Lucina; Antonio; Felizarda ; Benigno, deceased; Silverio P., our subject; Quiteria ; and Neves, who died in infancy. The father passed away at the age of sixty-five years, while the mother is still living, having reached the advanced age of ninety-one years.

Silverio P. Silva received a common school education, and when only thirteen years old he took a position as clerk and from that time on has made his own way in the world. He worked as a clerk in various stores for fifteen years, when he came to the United States and directly to California, locating in San Francisco, where he worked for wages. In 1903 he located in Merced and for the fol­lowing three years worked on farms. In 1906 he removed to Gustine and worked for two years for John V. Azevedo, and on September 1, 1913, established his own general merchandise business and within six years had accumulated sufficient means to build his own store building, which is SO x 125 feet.

At Merced, in February, 1914, Mr. Silva was married to Miss Mary Rose, a native of Marin County, Cal., daughter of Manuel and Isabelle Rose, early settlers in Marin County. Mr. and Mrs. Silva have one daughter, Zelma. Fraternally, Mr. Silva belongs to the U. P. E. C., and for the past twelve years has served as secretary of the I. D. E. S. Lodge of Gustine; politically he is a Republican.


Possessing executive ability of a high order, Dalton E. Hales has won well-merited success by his honest and upright dealings with all with whom he has business relations and has gained the respect of the community. He is the local representative, with his office in Gustine, of the Western States Life Insurance Company of San Francisco. Since becoming identified with this company, Mr. Hales has become an honorary member of the sales force and is one of the first fifteen salesmen of this company in a force of 600.

One of California's native sons, Dalton E. Hales was born at Boulder Creek, Santa Cruz County, September 8, 1893, a son of Elisha and Edith (Maddocks) Hales, both natives of California. Dalton E. Hales attended school in Gustine and later took a course at Heald's Business College in San Francisco. In 1910 he started in business for himself as a retailer of milk and continued in this busi­ness for a few years; he then engaged in the dairy business. When he located in Gustine he worked for Chappell and Reuter, remaining with them until he went to San Francisco, where he took his business course; then he went to work for the Pacific Hardware & Steel Com­pany in that city. He next removed to Los Banos where he worked in Miller & Lux's store. From Los Banos, Mr. Hales went to San Jose and conducted a business in East San Jose for one year, when he again returned to Gustine and for eight months was engaged in the dairy business, when he sold out. In 1920 he engaged in the general insurance business, which has since occupied his time and attention. He is the special agent at Gustine of the Western States Life In­surance Company of San Francisco.

On September 26, 1914, at Gustine, Mr. Hales was married to Miss Florence Pearce, born at Ingomar, Merced County, a daughter of J. L. and Flora Pearce, pioneer farmers of Merced County. Mrs. Hales was educated, in the grammar and high school at Gustine and the Modesto High School. Mr. and Mrs. Hales are the parents of two children: Athol Merrill and Dalton Eugene. Mr. Hales served as deputy constable for four years; in 1923 he was elected justice of the peace of township No. 6 of Merced County. He is a Republican in politics and fraternally is Past Grand of the Romero Lodge No. 413, I. 0. 0. F., at Gustine.


As a natural result of his thrift and industry Peter E. Petersen has become a prosperous citizen of Gustine, Cal., which has been his home since 1909. His birth occurred in Aro, Denmark, on Jan­uary 7, 1888, a son of Hans Peter and Maria Catherine (Smith) Petersen, both natives of Denmark, where they still make their home, the father being seventy-two years old and the mother sixty-seven years. There are six children in the family : Alfreda P., Mrs. C. L. Smith residing at Turlock; Peter E., the subject of this review; Jor­gen; Hans P., deceased; Johannas; and Nora.

Peter E. Petersen attended grammar school in his native country and learned the blacksmith trade in Aro with his father. In 1907 he came to the United States and almost directly to California, where he worked for his brother-in-law, C. L. Smith, for a year and a half. He then followed his trade with James R. Jensen in Gustine for three years, when, on March 29, 1912, he bought a half interest in a black­smith business with A. Andersen, and the firm became Andersen and Petersen, and in 1914 they built a garage building; in 1919 he sold his interest in the garage to Gilbert Kerr and in 1923 took over the entire blacksmith end of the business. Mr. Petersen is also inter­ested in agriculture, owning a fifth interest in a 131-acre farm, known as the Gustine Orchard Company, which is devoted to almonds, grapes, walnuts and figs.

At Gustine, July 15, 1916, Mr. Petersen was married to Miss Lillie Hansen, born at Ingomar, Cal., a daughter of Hans and Chris­tina (Smith) Hansen, whose sketch will be found in this history.

Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Petersen: Hans Peter and Eleanor Marie. Mr. Petersen is Past Grand of Romero Lodge No. 413, I. 0. 0. F., and has served as trustee of this order for many years ; he is also a member of the Dania Lodge of Gustine. In politics he is a Democrat.


A deservedly popular and prominent citizen, James C. Austin is numbered among the representative men of Gustine. Since arriving at this place in 1920, he has labored zealously for its upbuilding and the development of its resources. A native of Scotland, he was born in Edinburgh, October 2, 1882, a son of James C. and Mary I. (Jenkins) Austin, both natives of Scotland. The father, James C. Austin, was a wholesale tea and wine merchant during most of his active career; he passed away in 1920, never having left his native shores.

James C. Austin received his education at the George Watson's College in his native city. In 1900 he joined a volunteer contingent and served during the Boer War in South Africa for two years. After a visit to his boyhood home in Edinburgh he went to Canada and for the next ten years was identified with two of the leading banks of that country. Later he removed to Montana and opened a bank at Coburg, and when he came to California he established a bank at Lemon Cove. Then he took a trip to Honolulu and was connected with the Bank of Bishop & Company, Ltd., as accountant. In Feb­ruary, 1920 he located in Gustine, where he has since remained as the capable and efficient cashier of the Bank of Gustine.

At San Francisco, on August 14, 1922, Mr. Austin was united in marriage with Miss Mabel Hansen, born at Gustine, a daughter of Hans Hansen, an early settler of Merced County and an extensive land owner. Mr. Austin supports all public matters and measures that will advance the interest of the people and county.


The success achieved by William H. Gilbert, since identifying him­self with the agricultural interests of Merced County, furnishes an­other proof of the opportunities offered by this section of California to men of persevering industry. Since 1907, Mr. Gilbert has been associated with various creameries in this section of California and for the past three years has been manager of the Gustine Creamery. He is a native of England, born June 4, 1882, a son of Henry Gilbert, also a native of England who owned and operated a hotel in that country.

William H. Gilbert attended public school in his native country and in 1894 went to Ontario, Canada, where he attended the Kings­ton Dairy School; after finishing school he was identified with milk association work in Kingston, Canada, for eleven years. When he came to California he settled, at Lathrop where, for a time, he was connected with the Oakwood Stock Farm ; he then removed to Ceres and for two years worked in the Ceres Creamery. In February, 1910, he located in Gustine and for the following eleven years he worked for the Dairy Delivery Company as butter maker and tester ; two years of this time he was manager of the company. In 1921 he be­came manager of the Gustine Creamery, which has an output of 1,500,000 pounds of butter in one year. This creamery sells to the San Francisco and Oakland markets, and is also associated with the Challenge Cream & Butter Company of Los Angeles ; they also supply the local trade of Gustine, Newman and vicinity. There are thirty people employed in this creamery collecting milk and cream from Stanislaus and Merced Counties.

Mr. Gilbert is associated with Dr. Stagner in a fifty-acre peach and walnut orchard near Wheatland, Yuba County. Fraternally, he is a member of Romero Lodge No. 413, I. 0. 0. F. in Gustine; he belongs to Leeds Lodge No. 201, A. F. & A. M. ; Leeds Chapter No. 132, R. A. M., both at Gananoque, Canada ; is a charter member of Modesto Commandery No. 57, K. T., and belongs to Aahmes Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S. in Oakland.


No more satisfactory example of the self-made and substantial business man can be found than Orson B. Card, proprietor of the Card Garage at Arena, Cal. He was born in Potts County, Pa., on September 25, 1882, the youngest of three children born to Orrin and Louisa (Haskins) Card, the others being Oscar M., who mar­ried Maimie Havens and had two children, Ernest and John, who are now living with their maternal grandparents, their father and mother having met an accidental death in an auto and electric car accident at Boise, Idaho; and Carrie A., who married J. P. Berlin and lives at Livingston; she has two sons. The mother died at Nelson Run in 1900, and the father, who was born at Oswego, N. Y., resides at Yountville, Cal., and is eighty-two years of age. He was a Civil War veteran, and after the war he farmed and had a sawmill at Nelson Run, Potts County, Pa., where he made shingles and lumber.

Orson B. Card was reared in Potts County, Pa., and attended the public schools till he was fourteen, when he began to assist his father on the farm and in his sawmill, becoming familiar with machinery at an early age. He was the first member of the family to come to California. Before he landed in this state he was engaged in lumbering near Idaho City, Idaho, and in mining at Deadwood, that state. In company with his uncle, C. S. Card, he owned the Dewey mine and they brought in the first stamp mill, which weighed 5500 pounds, through almost impassable mountains. He sold his interest in this silver and gold prospect to his uncle in 1916. When war was de­clared our subject was classified as A 1 for war service and was called just .as the armistice was signed. Coming then to California, he de­veloped a forty-acre Malaga vineyard from a wheatfield near Livingston, selling out to Clara M. Myhead in 1923. He then erected his garage, fifty by sixty-four feet in dimensions, and established a Ford agency, handling also the Fordson tractor. He has a full line of accessories, gas, oils, tires and tubes and does all kinds of repairing, employing one and sometimes two men, and is building up a good business in his district, where he is known as an experienced mechanic. In politics he is a Republican.


A successful business man of Los Banos who is now serving his township as justice of the peace is Fred H. Cronwell. A native of Illinois, he was born in Rockford, Winnebago County, on September 9, 1884, and attended the public schools of his city until he was eighteen, when he made up his mind he would strike out for himself and see something of the West. He arrived in San Francisco in 1902 and soon secured work as a clerk in the Russ House; thereafter he followed hotel work for several years in California, Oregon and Washington. He finally located in Healdsburg, Cal., and engaged in the tailoring and cleaning business, later removing to San Francisco where he carried on the same kind of business until 1916, when he came to Merced County and located in Los Banos. Here he opened a tailor shop and also deals in men's wearing apparel and furnishings, and does a cleaning and repairing business in connection, being now accounted one of the leading business men of the town.

Mr. Cronwell was united in marriage with Miss Nell Jones, of Healdsburg, and they have a daughter Ida May. Mr. Cronwell is a member and ex-president of the Los Banos Chamber of Commerce. Fraternally he belongs to Mountain Brow Lodge No. 82, I. 0. 0. F. and to Los Banos Lodge No. 312, F. & A. M. Mr. Cronwell was appointed by the board of supervisors to the office of justice of the peace to fill a vacancy and at the regular election in 1922 he was a candidate to succeed himself, was elected by a good majority and continues to fill the office to the satisfaction of his many friends.


History of Merced County California: John Outcalt

Historic Record Company Los Angeles, California 1925

Transcribed by Martha A Crosley Graham – Pages 820 - 908